Saskatoon victim’s grieving mother still has questions about shooting

Click to play video: 'Mother of a shooting victim wants stiff penalty' Mother of a shooting victim wants stiff penalty
Watch above: The mother of a young man who was shot to death last year in Saskatoon wants a stiff sentence for the young offender who admits responsibility. Meaghan Craig finds out why the woman thinks the 14-year-old will get off lightly – Jan 11, 2016

SASKATOON – A 14-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to 11 charges after killing a 15-year-old and still faces a charge of manslaughter. It’s been five months since that fateful day in September 2015 and on Monday, the victim’s mother opened up to Global News saying she still had more questions than answers about her son’s death.

Dustin Ahenakew (right), Saskatoon’s sixth homicide victim of 2015.

Just shy of his 16th birthday, Dustin Ahenakew was shot and killed last fall inside a home in the 300-block of Avenue Q South. The shooting was not random, the teen who pulled the trigger was known to Ahenakew.

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His mother, Chastity Barthel never got a chance to say good-bye

Dustin, the third oldest of five children, had come to live with his father in Saskatoon. His mother, who continues to reside in Red Deer, Alta., describes the last several months without him as “soul-crushing”.

“He was a fundamentally caring person,” as she paused to weep, “He was very kindhearted, just always happy, full of smiles.”

On Sept. 7, 2015, officers responded to a home in Saskatoon’s Pleasant Hill neighbourhood where they found Dustin’s body. It was Saskatoon’s sixth homicide of 2015.

READ MORE: Teen dead following Saskatoon shooting

The gun used to kill him had been reported stolen just two days before and the 14-year-old who used it faced 15 criminal charges including criminal negligence causing death and 11 firearms-related offences. He was arrested without incident by police on Sept. 11.

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Devin Sauer/Global News

“I was just thinking where were the parents, where were they when this occurred in their own home, there was no supervision and no accountability,” said Barthel who doesn’t know what to tell her younger children about what happened to their brother.

READ MORE: 14-year-old charged with manslaughter in Saskatoon shooting death

Last week at provincial court, the young offender, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty to 11 charges and yet Dustin’s mom says she still doesn’t know how or why her son died.

“I’m glad that he pled guilty but with that guilty we’ve been told it might only be equivalent to possibly three years.”

She says the sentence doesn’t fit the crime and fears the young offender will do it again.

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“I wanted him to be charged as an adult and I also want a precedent set with the sentence, there needs to one set. This boy is capable of doing this again,” said Barthel.

“Without proper punishment how will he learn.”

Sentencing for the young offender has now been set for Feb. 2. Dustin’s family says they will be there to give him a voice since he can’t.


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