Winnipeg Police are reporting the second fatal police involved shooting in just ten (10) days.
On September 23, 2017 at approximately 4:10 p.m., members of the Winnipeg Police Service responded to the report of a stabbing in the 100 block of Madrigal Close in the Maples.
Shortly after arrival, a member of the WPS Tactical Team became involved in an altercation with a suspect who stabbed the officer in the upper body causing a serious injury.
A tactical tourniquet was applied to the officer’s injury and he was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
The suspect was shot by police and transported to hospital in critical condition.
He was later pronounced deceased.
Police indicated the suspect was a thirty-three (33) year old male who was “known to police.” Police advised they have attended the subject residence in the past.
The injured officer was later upgraded to stable condition and remains in hospital.
Police reported a third person at the scene sustained minor injuries.
Winnipeg Police Public Information Officer Constable Jay Murray advised the press the Manitoba Independent Investigation Unit (IIU) had been notified and was expected to continue the investigation.
Police generally avoid providing much in the way of information regarding officer involved shootings suggesting the need to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation trumps the need for disclosure of the relevant detail.
Expect the IIU to take a similar approach.
Despite the information void, attendance to the scene can provide much in the way of insight.
Evidence markers tell a story of a yet another violent confrontation that seems to have become all to familiar to members of the Winnipeg Police Service this year.
Tactical Team SUV’s parked inside the yellow tape indicate the officers responded post-haste to what was clearly a high priority emergency call.
(Police consider stabbings “hot” calls and don’t waste time getting to these dangerous, unpredictable situations.)
In this case, it’s clear something very serious went down on the front steps of the subject residence.
Thick crimson blood appears to have flowed from the top step on the landing down to the step below. A blue plastic surgical glove can be seen below the blood stains. Critical evidence, in the form of what appeared to be orange handled scissors, can be seen next to an evidence marker on the landing.
A number of other evidence markers were observed on the sidewalk and on the street directly in front of the subject residence.
The presence of the scissors and the fact an officer was seriously injured provides much insight into the deadly shooting.
The IIU will now conduct interviews and assess crime scene evidence to determine if the shooting was justified.
Ten Days Elapse Between Deadly Police Shootings
Yesterdays fatal officer involved shooting comes a mere ten (10) days after members of the WPS Tactical Team were involved in another case where officers used lethal force that resulted in the death of a Winnipeg man.
On September 13, 2017, at 12:50 a.m., WPS Tactical Team officers shot and killed Adrian Lacquette (23) at the conclusion of a gun-toting crime spree involving an assault on a woman, a violent car jacking of a second woman and a commercial robbery.
Lacquette was tracked by Police Helicopter (Air1) as he drove his recently acquired stolen vehicle in the north end of the City. Officers operating Air1 were able to directTactical Team members to the location where the deadly confrontation occurred.
Police indicated Lacquette was also “known to police.”
His mother indicated he was a “former” gang member.
Social media suggested otherwise.
The IIU is currently investigating Lacquette’s death.
Four WPS Shootings in 2017
The IIU has now investigated a total of four (4) officer involved shootings by members of the WPS this year, two fatal and two non-fatal.
On May 1, 2017, a member of the WPS shot a twenty-five (25) year old suspect in the skywalk of 266 Graham Avenue in downtown Winnipeg.
The man was rushed to hospital, treated and later upgraded to stable condition.
Investigation revealed he attempted to assault a police officer with a homemade weapon that consisted of a stick with a pair of scissors attached to one end. (The weapon was reported to be emblematic of a spear.) The officer fired two rounds striking the man in his right side.
The IIU conducted the investigation and found the shooting was justified.
In his report, the IIU Civilian Director Zane Tessler stated the subject officer; “Was faced with a dangerous and dynamic situation that unfolded quickly. It would be unreasonable for police to wait before acting. Any delay could have led to the death of WPS officers or other civilians within the office.”
Police identified the subject as Joshua Pardy (25) of Winnipeg.
Pardy was charged with Assault with a Weapon x 5 and Possess Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose as a result of his alleged involvement in the incident.
He was detained in custody.
On July 24, 2017, a member of the WPS shot a suspect in the 400 block of Archibald Street after the man was believed to have been involved in a home invasion robbery with a firearm.
The man was rushed to hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Police subsequently charged Peter Wilfred Flett (26) with a number of offences including Robbery with a Firearm x 2, Point Firearm x 4, Possess Firearm contrary to Prohibition Order and Flight from Police.
Flett was detained in custody.
The IIU is continuing the investigation.
The New Normal
Is this a trend?
Is this the “new normal?”
Do Winnipeggers need to walk the streets in fear?
WPS Public Information Officer is correct in his assessment these shootings should not necessarily give rise to public fear or concern for our collective safety.
The increase in police involved shootings this year, while cause for concern, are not indicative of a rising or quantifiable trend.
“The nature of these incidents is that they’re random. We don’t control when somebody presents that kind of threat to police. It was a random incident and unfortunately we’ve had two of them in the past…I guess it would be just over a week,” Murray said.
Murray wasn’t asked about the apparent rise in gun crime or gun violence police seem to be dealing with this year.
Mere hours after the WPS Officer involved shooting the VPD published the following tweet on Twitter…