A recent shooting death on Dufferin Avenue brings the homicide total in Winnipeg for this year to 41.
Officers were called to the 700 block of Dufferin Avenue around 9 p.m. Wednesday for a report of suspicious circumstances.
When they arrived, they found 21-year-old Dustin Cree Baker dead from apparent gunshot wounds.
The most recent death ties 2019 with the previous homicide record set in 2011 — 41 deaths, which police say means 41 grieving families.
“The big thing is we just don’t want it to become a statistic,” said Winnipeg Police Service Const. Jay Murray.
“It’s a substantial amount of work to investigate these homicides, and there’s a lot of pain that comes with every homicide. That’s important to note — that it’s not just a number. There’s a lot more impacts beyond that.”
It’s sentiment with which Imelda Adao is all too familiar.
Adao’s 17-year-old son, Jaime, was killed in a violent home invasion in March, while he was studying at home with his grandmother. She says hearing of all the recent homicides in the city brings mixed emotions.
“Sometimes I feel angry, but most of the time I feel so scared,” Adao told Global News.
Adao says she doesn’t feel safe in the city anymore, and she wants to see tougher punishments for offenders.
“After my son’s death, how many crimes still happened?” Adao said. “I heard in the news that even a three-year-old kid…. How can they do that? How can a person do that to an innocent child?”
“The government should implement tougher punishment to those people because they aren’t scared anymore. Our justice system is very lenient on those crimes,” she said.
It’s been more than eight months since her son was killed, and Adao says it only gets more difficult with each passing day.