Regina police investigate five separate shootings in three days
The most recent happened in an apartment building in the 2200 block of 14th Avenue near Cornwall Street at 4:40 a.m. Monday.
Someone shot a bullet through one of the suite’s doors. One person inside was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Leah Fehr lives across the hall from the suite. She said she heard arguing outside her door before the gun was fired. Fehr says she wasn’t surprised something like that happened, given the high drug use in the building.
“I’m always afraid for my safety,” Fehr said. “I have to put a board against [my] door to barricade myself in my suite because people always try to come in.”
Regina police Chief Evan Bray says crystal meth and other drugs are fueling gun crime in the city. While it’s too soon to tell if the shootings are gang-related, police aren’t ruling out the possibility.
“Gangs and drugs are very, very closely linked to the firearm challenges that we have in our city,” Bray said. “I think this weekend’s incidents are likely not a far departure from that.”
Bray says it was “challenging” to respond to the weekend’s calls.
The string of shootings started at a home on the 1600 block of Rae Street around 6 p.m. Saturday. Officers cordoned off the area until they could determine no one was injured.
Hours later and streets over, a silver vehicle shot at Suzanne LeBlanc’s house in the 700 Block of Garnet Street at 9:30 p.m.
LeBlanc was home at the time. She says she heard the gunshot, but didn’t realize her house had been hit until she went outside to check on her neighbours.
“[The bullet] just went in through the front and went through a couple of sheets of drywall,” said LeBlanc, adding one of the fragments got lodged in her kitchen clock.
LeBlanc says she felt “initial fear” and the entire experience was “unnerving.” She says she’s lived in her house for 11 years, but it wasn’t until four years ago that crime started to pick up.
Another round of drive-by shootings happened across the street from LeBlanc’s house four hours later. Police say bullets hit two empty houses around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
One man suffered life-threatening injuries after being shot on the 2100 block of Broad Street at 1:20 a.m. Sunday.
Bray says he doesn’t think the shootings are connected, but the investigations are still ongoing.
“You often see with shootings in our city predominantly, they are not random in nature. A lot of times there is some sort of relationship … between the subjects that are involved in those incidents,” Bray said.
Some Garnet Street residents told Global News they are used to hearing gunfire in the area. Councillor Joel Murray, responsible for Ward 6, says normalization can sometimes lead to people not reporting crime.
“Whenever you see something you need to say something, so utilizing Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) is a huge asset for us as a community to keep our neighbourhoods and communities safe,” Murray said.
SCAN is an online initiative through the province that allows residents to report suspected illegal crime in their neighbourhoods. In Regina, it can also be accessed by phone at 1-866-51-SAFER.
Murray says SCAN is a good tool to help combat organized crime. Like the residents, Murray says he’s concerned with the amount of gun crime in his ward and in the city.
“It’s a similar concern we’ve had for a long time,” Murray said. “It’s not just in Regina. It’s a national problem we’re seeing across the country.”
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