LOCAL NEWS

POLICE COLLAR FOURTEEN (14) YEAR OLD CHILD SOLDIER

SHUT UP! 152/366

Winnipeg Police are reporting the arrest of a fourteen (14) year old gangster accused of shooting a seventeen (17) year old male youth on June 24, 2013.

The shooting occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m., in the area of Sherbrook Street and Wolseley Avenue.

Police reported a firearm was discharged in the direction of a parked vehicle striking one of the occupants. The suspect (s) fled and the victim made his way to hospital after sustaining serious injuries.  The seventeen (17) year old male remains in hospital in critical condition.

Investigators subsequently obtained a Court Order authorizing the temporary release of the identity of a youth suspect sought in connection with the incident.  A Canada-wide warrant for Attempt Murder x 2 was issued for the suspects arrest.  Physical descriptors were provided and publics assistance was requested.

The investigation continued by the Winnipeg Police Service Major Crimes Unit.

On November 8, 2013 at approximately 11:50 a.m., Patrol members, the Tactical Support Team and members of the Canine Unit responded to the 400 block of Pacific Avenue regarding reports of a male possibly armed with a gun.

Police advise a witness recognized the suspect male from previous media reports.

A short time later, the previously wanted male was located hiding in the 400 block of Elgin Avenue and arrested.

As a result of a lengthy investigation, the youth was charged with the following serious criminal offences:

  • Attempt murder x 2
  • Careless use Firearm x 2
  • Possess weapon for dangerous Purpose x 2
  • Unauthorized use of firearm x 2
  • Possess firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized (license) x 2
  • Possess firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized (registration cert.) x 2
  • Possession of prohibited/restricted firearm/ammunition x 2
  • Discharge firearm with intent x 2
  • Assault with weapon
  • Mischief under
  • Breach Probation x 3
  • Possess firearm while prohibited x 2
  • Warrant – Breach Probation

The youth was detained in custody at the Manitoba Youth Centre.

INSIDER COMMENTARY:

Now that the offender has been arrested, the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) prohibits media outlets from publishing his name or photograph or even linking previous stories where he was identified.

Twitter traffic questions the relevance of the law and the reality of social media.

As crime reporter James Turner put it, “The arrest of the B-Side gang member raises questions about the internet age and YCJA, trying to “unring a bell” now that he was ID’d.”

I line up with a JT follower who quipped, “In my opinion, the only ID’s that should be protected are that of victims.  The YCJA needs an overhaul.”

Why should society protect the identify of hard-core criminals who join gangs, sell drugs and participate in shootings?

As a young offender, the “shooter” in this case is sure to benefit from the exceedingly soft justice principles mandated by the YCJA.

Time will tell.

A BRIEF HISTORY:

The use of “child soldiers” by adult street gang members has increased and continues to be a concern to Law Enforcement.

The escalation of violent crime and conflict between the B-Side Crew & the Mad Cow street gangs was detailed in a recent Winnipeg Free Press report written by crime reporter James Turner in an article titled, “Teenager Named in Gang Shooting.”

The hostilities can be traced back to the summer of 2004 when rival gangs participated in a significant number of targeted shootings and fire bombings in a war waged to control turf.  Those hostilities cumulated with the ambush murder of Mad Cow gang member Sirak “Shaggy” Okbazion (14) years.

The killing of Okbazion introduced the WPS Homicide Unit to a new brand of killer, the hard-core street gang member.  These were street thugs who were heavily indoctrinated into the gangs, drugs, guns and money culture.  Teens who would kill their street gang rivals for simply being on the wrong side of the tracks.

Brazen teens who lived by the “law of the jungle,” teens who weren’t afraid to show their contempt for Law Enforcement.

Some of the kids I met during the Okbazion investigation frightened me.  As a skilled interrogator I took pride in my ability to break down some of the hardest offenders the City had to offer.  The steel hardened exterior put up by these gangsters was simply impenetrable.  Hours of interrogation spent trying to crack nuts that simply refused to break.  These were cold-blooded, remorseless killers living in a hostile kill or be killed world.

I recall expressing my amazement and concern regarding the evolution of gangsters in the Winnipeg crime scene.  The future was not bright.  Homicide Investigation was sure to become a costly, laborious undertaking with dramatically reduced solvency rates if these “child soldiers” represented the future realities of crime on the streets of Winnipeg.

Many of us speculated we were going to need a lot more body bags if this trend continued.

Sadly, we were right.

The murder of Sirak Okbazion in 2004 set off a chain reaction that still has implications on the streets of Winnipeg in 2013.

On January 1, 2013, B-Side gangster Lloyd Robert Sarson (25) of Winnipeg was shot and killed in a back lane in Red Deer, Alberta.  The shooter was identified as a seventeen (17) year old Winnipeg gangster who now stands charged with first degree murder.

On February 15, 2013, B-Side gangster William Edward Moar (24) aka “G-Money” was shot and killed at Johnny G’s restaurant on Main Street.  Police subsequently charged rival gangsters Akech Dut Ajak (22), Morgan Van Bone (19) and a fifteen (15) year old Young Offender with first degree murder in the killing.

The Mckay shooting investigation is another clear indication that the hostilities are far from over.

Alas, the false promise of gang life manifests itself once again.  That promise almost always ends on a cold steel slab in a morgue or behind the cold steel bars of a Federal Penitentiary.

A tragic ending either way.

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