Gun calls, shootings on the rise, according to Winnipeg police

Click to play video: 'Canada Day Violence' Canada Day Violence
It was a violent 24 hours in Winnipeg over Canada Day. Erik Pindera has more on increasing gun violence in our city – Jul 2, 2020

Danielle Dawn Cote was 27 when she was gunned down on a Winnipeg street in the early morning hours on Canada Day.

She was the seventh murder victim killed with a gun in the city this year, according to police.

Winnipeg has seen a spate of gun violence and calls for service involving firearms have spiked in recent weeks, Winnipeg police Const. Jay Murray said in an interview with Global News.

Read more: Winnipeg police identify city’s latest homicide victim as Danielle Dawn Cote

“Over the last few years we’ve seen a slow, gradual rise in the level of violence in Winnipeg — it seems to have somewhat spiked in the last few weeks,” Murray said.

Murray pointed to cyclical increases in violent crime in the summer months and the stresses of living amid the COVID-19 pandemic as potential reasons for the increase in violence.

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“Some of it we can attribute just to increased drug and alcohol use — that’s another contributor that drives gun violence in the city and lastly there’s continuing gang violence, whether it’s the protection, extortion, intimidation.”

Police received 143 gun calls in June this year, meaning a person was either brandishing a firearm, a member of the public saw a firearm or a person was told someone else had a gun.

That’s compared to 118 similar calls in June 2019, 105 in June 2018 and 121 in June 2017.

Meanwhile, police received 135 reports of shots fired in the same period this year, compared to 55 last year, 56 in 2018 and 57 in 2017.

Read more: Winnipeg gun crime continues to rise, police say

In just 24 hours over Canada Day, four people were shot, including Cote.

Police found her lifeless around 3 a.m. on Flora Avenue near Powers Street, while a man she was with who had also been shot managed to flee to a nearby convenience store and request help, police said. He remains in hospital.

Earlier, a man was shot prior to being struck by a car on Balmoral Street near Cumberland Avenue, police said. Emergency personnel arrived shortly before 2:30 a.m.

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Then, just after midnight July 2, a man was shot and another was stabbed at The Forks.

“There’s an incredible risk to society when firearms are used, whether it’s bystanders or the people that those firearms are used against — that can be against unsuspecting victims, it can be against law enforcement,” Murray said.

“Just recently we had the incident at the Forks where a shot was rung out around a group of people.”

The Forks is typically the site of Winnipeg’s largest Canada Day gathering and although the festivities were canceled due to bans on large public gatherings, people still congregated at the tourist attraction.

Police data shows there have been 64 criminal shootings total in 2020. Thirty-two people were hit.

Twenty people have been murdered.

Click to play video: 'Gun seizures increasing ‘year to year’ say Winnipeg police' Gun seizures increasing ‘year to year’ say Winnipeg police
Gun seizures increasing ‘year to year’ say Winnipeg police – Mar 12, 2019

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