The WPS Homicide Unit has made progress but still has work to do after catching murder cases on consecutive days.
On June 22, 2016, at approximately 3:40 a.m., EMS personnel responded to a residence in the 300 block of Aberdeen Avenue regarding a fire.
Police reported a fifty (50) year old man was removed from the home and transported to hospital in critical condition.
The man subsequently died from his injuries.
Autopsy results confirmed the victim was assaulted before the residence was set afire.
Police identified the victim as David Sanderson (50) of Winnipeg.
Police are asking anyone who may have had contact with Sanderson during the evening of June 21, 2016 and into the early morning hours of June 22, 2016 to contact investigators immediately.
The investigation thus far has revealed Sanderson was in the area of Main Street between Dufferin Avenue and Selkirk Avenue during this time.
Sanderson is described as an Aboriginal male, 6’0” tall, 150 pounds, thin build, long hair in a ponytail and wearing a dark coloured t-shirt and jeans.
Sanderson is the 12th reported homicide victim in Winnipeg this year.
Charges Laid in Second Killing
While the Sanderson case remains somewhat of a mystery, Police announced the arrest of a suspect in the second killing.
On June 23, 2016, EMS personnel responded to reports of an injured man inside a suite located in the 400 block of Furby Street.
Upon arrival, an injured adult male was located suffering from serious upper body injuries. The man was transported to hospital in critical condition where he succumbed to his injuries.
Police have now identified the victim as James Edsel Tucker (45) of Winnipeg.
The investigation resulted in the arrest of Martin Archie Flett (22) and Joshua Evans (24) who have been charged with;
- 2nd Degree Murder
- Robbery with Firearm x 2
- Kidnapping with Firearm
- Sexual Assault
- Assault with a weapon
- Other weapon related offences
Police say Flett and Evans attended the 400 block of Furby Street to purchase drugs when they first encountered a thirty-seven (37) year old male resident. The suspects were armed, and for a period of time, participated in a serious assault on the first victim.
Sometime later, the first victim was forced into his suite when the suspects encountered James Tucker. A confrontation ensued that resulted in Tucker being stabbed.
The suspects then fled the scene and police were notified.
The investigation continued by members of the WPS Homicide Unit.
Both Flett & Evans were detained in custody.
Tucker is the 13th reported homicide victim in Winnipeg this year.
(A National Post story confirms James Edsel Tucker was an alias for William James Harcus, the former head of the Manitoba KKK.)
The WPS Homicide Unit has solved all but two of the killings recorded this year – solvency rate 84%.
Indigenous Homicide Victims and Killers Overrepresented
It’s difficult to keep homicide statistics and not be alert to trends and spikes in the ultimate crime.
During my tenure as Homicide Unit Supervisor, one of my tasks was to complete census information for Stats Canada regarding a number of factors associated with the killing.
The document was called the “Homicide Survey.”
The Homicide Survey recorded details influencing the incident and required data associated to both the victim and accused killer. Details and data that included, but was not limited to;
- Employment Status
- Drug or Alcohol related
- Gang Related
- Organized Crime Related
- Cause of Death
- Manner of Death
When you look at the 2016 Homicide Statistics in Winnipeg an alarming trend appears.
Of the thirteen (13) homicide victims in Winnipeg this year, ten (10) appear to be of Indigenous origin.
That works out to approximately 77%.
An even more alarming statistic is revealed when you do the math regarding the accused killers.
Of the nineteen (19) accused killers charged in the City of Winnipeg this year, a total of seventeen (17) appear to be of Indigenous origin.
That works out to approximately 89%.
(Note: two homicide cases involving Indigenous victims remain unsolved.)
When you consider the fact Indigenous people only make up approximately 4.3% of the Canadian population, these statistics become even more disturbing.
(If Homicide Stats were included from the entire Province I suspect the numbers would be even more alarming.)
No Story Here
Even more surprising is the fact main stream media is either unaware of these statistics or simply choose to ignore them.
I’m equally perplexed our political leaders have been mute on the subject.
This kind of outrageous over-representation must be addressed with urgent, decisive action.
It’s time to change the bleak reality for Indigenous people living in our City, Province and Country.
It seems all the right people are in place.
I’m not sure what we’re waiting for…