WPS (PIO) Police Information Officer Jason Michalyshen has confirmed what The Police Insider suspected all along.
The murder of Nigel Dixon is now believed to be “gang related”.
In a news conference, the WPS spokesperson released the following statement;
“Police believe that the victims were walking in the area when they were approached by the suspect group. The suspects accused the victims of being gang members. The victims denied any gang involvement and walked away to avoid any further confrontation. While the victims were walking away, it is believed that they were followed by the suspect group. The victims were then fired upon as they attempted to get away. Injuries to the victims support the fact that they were attempting to flee from the suspect group when they were shot. Police believe that this was a case of mistaken identity as the victims are not affiliated with any gangs.”
Experience investigating these kinds of cases leads me to believe the following scenario took place:
Two (2) innocent citizens, soon to be victims, were walking down Langside Street in broad daylight at 4:00 pm in the afternoon when unknown armed gangsters approached them and asked the all to predictable gangster question, “Who you down with?” The victim’s denied any gang involvement but that didn’t matter. The gangsters decided they were “creeping” on their turf and opened fire on them. It’s fairly obvious from the description of events the victim’s were shot in the posterior sides of their bodies thus providing evidence they were fleeing from the shooter (s).
It’s unfortunate, but killings like these are not all that uncommon in Winnipeg.
In September of 2007, innocent victim Anthony Woodhouse (30) was shot in the head and killed instantly in a gang related hit ordered by Indian Posse Gang Leader Tyson Kane Roulette. Roulette was under the misguided belief that rival gangsters were at the Woodhouse residence so he dispatched Travis Personius, one of his soldiers, to take care of “business.”
When Personius arrived at the location encountered Woodhouse and asked him if he was “down with IP.” Woodhouse denied any gang involvement but that mattered not to his executioner who mercilessly shot him in the head at point-blank range.
Personius subsequently plead guilty to 2nd Degree Murder and was given a life sentence with no possibility of parole for fifteen (15) years. Roulette subsequently took a plea bargain which saw him plead guilty to Manslaughter in exchange for a life sentence with no chance of parole for ten (10) years.
On May 23, 2009 Joseph Mcleod (23) made the fatal mistake of wearing a white bandanna in the 500 block of Ross Ave when he encountered two fourteen (14) year old gangsters who asked him “Who you rep.” The answer didn’t satisfy the thugs who proceeded to stab him directly in the heart. The killers were subsequently arrested and charged with second degree murder.
The youth who inflicted the fatal blow plead guilty to the charge and was given the maximum youth sentence of four (4) years in jail and three (3) years of community supervision. The other youth was convicted of manslaughter and was sentenced to seven (7) months for time served.
(These are just but two examples, there are others.)
Initial observations at the Langside crime scene showed significant signs of street gang activity, in fact, as reported in the Police Insider’s initial story, up to six (6) different gang tags were observed in the immediate area where the killing took place.
Gang tags such as these can be used to “take the temperature” of a neighbourhood. The gang tags noted in this area are indicative of a neighbourhood not only in conflict but also in decline.
Solving these kinds of murders can be extremely difficult undertakings. Witnesses are often reluctant to speak to law enforcement out of fear of gang retaliation. It takes extremely hard work, voluminous work hours and a strong will to resolve these crimes.
Fortunately, these are all attributes that belong to the investigators working in the WPS Homicide Squad.
Brazen, random, gang related killings such as this one simply cannot be tolerated.
These kinds of killings say a lot about a City.
And the message isn’t very good.
Homicide investigators are asking that anyone with information regarding this incident to contact detectives at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).
National Post – Winnipeg Teen gets Time Served for Random Gang-Motivated Killing
Winnipeg Sun – Gang Leader Gets Life for Ordering Fatal Shooting