May 7, 2014 5:19 pm

Winnipeg police warned of gun outside nightclub minutes before shooting

WINNIPEG – A Winnipeg police officer received a report of a man with a gun outside an Exchange District nightclub minutes before a fatal shooting Sunday but didn’t act on the information,  Global News has learned.

A source told Global News a female bystander flagged down a police car outside Opera Ultralounge at about 2 a.m. Sunday and told the officer she’d seen a man with a handgun, but there was no obvious trouble so the officer moved on.

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According to records released by police, someone called 911 at 2:03 a.m. to report shots fired outside the Main Street nightclub. Rustom Paclipan, 23, was killed and two other men were wounded.

Police Chief Devon Clunis announced Tuesday he launched an internal investigation into why an earlier 911 call from Opera Ultralounge went unanswered Sunday morning and was later cancelled.

Staff called at 1:39 a.m. Sunday to warn police of a fight outside the club that might escalate; a “call for service was generated and entered” at 1:42 then cancelled at 1:59 from within the 911 communications centre. Minutes later someone opened fire outside the club.

Global News has also learned Winnipeg police officers were right around the corner from Opera Ultralounge investigating a report of an assault at another nightclub minutes before the deadly shooting. Officers were dispatched to Union Sound Hall at 110 Market Ave. shortly before 2 a.m. Union Sound Hall is about 400 metres away from Opera Ultralounge.

Despite the presence of police officers in the area, the first emergency crews on the scene of the shooting were paramedics. A paramedic crew that happened to be passing by on Main Street was flagged down by bystanders, Global News has learned. The paramedics were already treating victims when officers arrived on scene.

Winnipeg police have said they will not comment on the internal investigation into the shooting, beyond what the chief said Tuesday.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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