The sudden and senseless death of 17-year-old Jaime Adao has sent a shockwave through Winnipeg’s Filipino community.
Elmer Aquino, a family friend, says he’s heartbroken by the loss and can’t begin to imagine how the family is moving forward.
“It’s a devastating moment for them and for me as well. I can’t cope with being happy, I cannot. I’m like a zombie, like the living dead.”
Aquino says Adao’s parents always bragged about their amazing son.
“He is a good boy and he really loved to study and really educated himself in a way that he will be the best. There’s a lot of dreams for this guy but unfortunately, things happened,” he said.
Adao called 911 on Sunday night to report that an intruder had entered his McGee Street home. While on the phone with the emergency operator, he was attacked, according to authorities.
Police say they were forced to shoot the 29-year-old suspect to stop him.
Both the suspect and victim were rushed to hospital, but Adao later succumbed to his injuries.
Police say the attack was random.
Jaime is the son of Jim and Mel Adao, who own Jimel’s Bakery locations on Bannatyne Avenue and Sheppard Street.
Former city councillor Mike Pagtakhan knows Jim and Mel and says the loss has shocked him.
“What’s happening for someone to lose their life in the safety of their own home where you feel safe, secure and comfortable. You wonder, who is this guy and how did he get in there and why did he get in there and how was he out on the streets if he was known to police?” he said.
Pagtakhan says as a community, they need to look at options to make the city safer.
“The city should be asking some tough questions like, ‘How did this happen? why did it happen? Is it preventable?’ There’s a lot of safety things that are going on,” he asked.
“To make a city safe is a very multi-disciplinary, multi-pronged approach. No one can be blamed for this but what can we do better to stop these senseless acts of violent from happening?”
The group 204 Neighbourhood Watch organized a vigil on Monday night.
Tek Deleon is one of the group’s founding members and she says she wants more to be done in the city in terms of crime prevention measures.
“I hope that this will not happen again, and we can feel that we are safe in this city but I hope that everyone, all of us, will unite,” she said.
“We are really shocked to know what happened. We cried.”
A GoFundMe page has been started with a goal of raising $10,000 for the family.