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Winnipeg police say no motive determined in bear spray spree

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg police say no motive determined in bear spray spree'
Winnipeg police say no motive determined in bear spray spree
Winnipeg police say 11 people were assaulted with bear spray in three separate and seemingly random attacks in the city Sunday – Feb 13, 2023

Winnipeg police say 11 people were assaulted with bear spray in three separate and seemingly random attacks in the city Sunday.

Police were first called after bear spray was discharged on a Winnipeg Transit bus near Sargent Avenue and Empress Street around 3 p.m.

In a release on Monday, police said a group of suspects filled a bus they’d been riding on with bear spray before getting off and running to a nearby store in the 1000 block of Empress, where they allegedly discharged more bear spray before taking off again on foot.

Investigators say seven people on the bus, including the driver, and three people in the store were hit with bear spray.

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The victims range in age between 12 and 60.

Police said they were again called to the report of a bear spray attack shortly before 6 p.m., this time at a recreation centre in the 400 block of Langside Street.

Police say a 22-year-old staff member was hit with bear spray while another 18-year-old staff member was slapped in the face.

They say officers found two suspects holding cans of bear spray outside the recreation centre.

The suspects ran but were quickly caught, police said Monday. In all, police say four cans of bear spray were seized.

They say one of the suspects lied about his age but was later identified. Police say the suspect also spat in an officer’s face.

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Investigators haven’t been able to determine a motive for any of the attacks and all victims were previously unknown to the suspects, police say.

All 11 victims were treated at the various scenes by the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

Two males aged 15 and 16 are facing a number of charges including 11 counts of assault with a weapon each.

Both remain in police custody.

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