Teen suspect in tense Bannerman standoff faces dozens of charges
An armed standoff in the North End Wednesday resulted in the arrest of a 16-year-old suspect and no injuries, but police say the tense situation is likely to have lasting effects on those involved.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my career,” said Cst. Rob Carver of the Winnipeg Police Service on Friday. “I’ve talked to a number of officers who were there. There’s a lot of trauma involved here.
“Officers are going to struggle with this for a while, as would any of the residents. This is a very difficult event to process both for out officers who were out there being shot at, as well as for people being told they had to stay in their houses, in their basements.”
Police said the standoff, which has resulted in a laundry list of gun-related charges for the suspect, was part of a series of events in the neighbourhood.
On Tuesday morning, police say a suspect went to a single-family residence on the 600 block of Magnus Avenue and fired several shots into the residence.
The next day, the same suspect went to a house in the 300 block of Aikins Street and again fired into the residence.
A police K-9 unit tracked the suspect from the Aikins location to a residence in the 300 block of Bannerman. They couldn’t find the suspect, but secured the house with officers positioned and the front and rear of the property.
Around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, the suspect came back to the Bannerman house, ran past officers saying he had a gun, and ran into the residence.
Shortly before 1 p.m., shots were fired at officers, striking both a patrol vehicle and the ARV-1 tactical unit.
When the standoff ended late Wednesday afternoon and the suspect was apprehended, he was charged with seven counts of attempted murder, three counts of careless use of a firearm, four counts of possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, two counts of unsafe gun storage, two counts of carrying a concealed weapon, two counts of carrying an unauthorized weapon, two counts of possessing a weapon contrary to a court order, three counts of discharging a firearm with intent, obstructing a peace office, disguise with intent, and there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
Carver said investigators believe there’s a gang connection, but that police don’t talk specifics about gangs to avoid giving them media attention.
“I know TV and movies present gangs as very stable, heirarchy-based organizations,” he said, “and while I’m not saying we don’t have those in Winnipeg, a lot of the street gangs are very fluid.”
Carver said meth is also suspected to be involved, but police are unable to say definitively.
While the gunshots were ringing across the street, the staff at VL Auto Service were continuing to work.
“You could hear the shots. You could hear when they were firing gas grenades, the flash bangers the whole nine yards,” Tau-Anka Croxen who works at the shop said.
Croxen lives nearby and he says he’s not worried about crime in the community.
“This is what we’re used to. If it’s not a zoo or crazy down here then we would start suspecting somethings up, this is the North End. This is where you get that kind of action going. People do crazy stuff and this is where you’re going to see it,” he said.
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According to statistics, violent crime has gone up more than 20 per cent from 2013 to 2017 in the North End. That’s something concerning to residents like Lyndon Murdoch.
“Pretty much you gotta watch where you walk. Or just watch who’s walking down the street there. Keep people a certain distance,” he said.
“You see more and more police presence in the area. You see more and more people who are walking high or drunk and they’re usually agitated.”
WATCH: WPS shares details of North End violence leading to standoff
The investigation continues, with forensic teams still on-scene.
Officers trying to be on top of the names, and some of them change monthly.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve been in a number of positions, and it was absolutely amazing to see we did what we needed to do and did it in a way everyone was able to walk way safely,” he said.
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