Police in Winnipeg have charged a 14-year-old boy with first degree murder and a number of other serious offences after a string of shootings that began on the Canada Day national holiday.
The unrelated shootings claimed the life of one woman and saw five others injured in a series of incidents that officials described as shocking.
“I think it’s going to be terrifying and concerning for a lot of Winnipeg, the fact that we would have so much violence and committed by such a young individual,” Constable Jay Murray said at a press conference on Friday.
The police released a timeline of the crimes, which started at 2.30am on Wednesday morning, 1 July, when a 44-year-old man was found injured on Balmoral Street near Cumberland Avenue.
CBC reports that he had been hit by a vehicle, but that it was later determined that he had been shot beforehand. He was taken to hospital where he is in a critical condition but stable.
Police then responded to a double shooting on Flora Avenue, where 27-year-old Danielle Dawn Cote was walking with her 18-year-old cousin at 3.15am when they were both shot. Danielle died, but her cousin survived and is in a stable condition.
Shortly after midnight on Thursday, officers found that a 40-year-old man had been shot and another man had been stabbed near the ‘Winnipeg’ sign at The Forks, a national historic site.
A fourth shooting was later reported and occurred between the first two when a woman and the man she was with were shot at on the 100 block of Isabel Street.
The teen suspect was arrested on Thursday afternoon in the North Kildonian neighbourhood. A gun was also recovered that the police believe was used in all the shootings. It is unclear how the suspect obtained the gun.
Aside from the two cousins, none of the victims knew each other, nor did they know the shooter.
Constable Murray acknowledged that a first degree murder charge usually requires premeditation, but did not say whether a specific motive was known.
In addition to the murder charge, the teen faces charges of attempted murder, attempted murder with a firearm, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of assault with a weapon, possessing a firearm contrary to a prohibition order, three counts of discharging a firearm with intent, and failing to comply with a sentence.
He has no police record, but is known to the criminal justice system.
It is possible that there are other incidents similar to the fourth reported shooting in which case more charges could follow.