In a tragic development, four individuals have been confirmed dead following a mass shooting at a West Broadway home. Among the victims are sisters Crystal Shannon Beardy, 34, and Stephanie Amanda Beardy, 33, from Lake St. Martin First Nation, located approximately 250 kilometres north of Winnipeg. The other two fatalities are identified as Melelek Leseri Lesikel, 29, and Dylan Maxwell Lavallee, 41. The incident, which took place on Langside Avenue early Sunday, also left a 55-year-old man critically injured and hospitalized.
Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth addressed the media, emphasizing the urgency of apprehending the suspect, whom he described as dangerous. The police are appealing to the public for tips to assist in the identification and capture of the offender.
The incident has caused significant distress in the community, with Chief Smyth acknowledging the rarity of such events and their impact on public safety. Despite this, he reassured that most neighborhoods in Winnipeg continue to be largely unaffected by violent crime.
This year, Winnipeg has seen 38 homicides, with at least 14 victims fatally shot. Ten of these homicides occurred in the current month alone. The property where the shooting occurred, a multi-suite residence at 143 Langside St., is owned by Richard Fulham, who expressed shock and confusion over the event, stating that none of the victims were tenants of the building.
The Winnipeg Police Service has increased its presence in the neighborhood and expects forensic investigators to remain on the scene for up to a week. The investigation is complex, involving multiple units, including guns and gangs officers. The police are vigilant for any evidence that could link firearms to the homicide.
Community outreach worker and anti-gang activist Mitch Bourbonniere highlighted the need for greater support in neighborhoods like West Broadway, which are more prone to violence due to factors such as poverty.
The Winnipeg Police Service is also providing support to officers and paramedics who responded to the scene, acknowledging the potential psychological impact of such traumatic events. Ryan Woiden, president of the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union Local 911, which represents paramedics in Winnipeg, confirmed the traumatic nature of the call and the ongoing mental health challenges faced by paramedics.
The incident has prompted political responses as well, with Premier Wab Kinew expressing his concern over rising safety issues and pledging additional resources and support for the police force.
Authorities are urging anyone with information about the shooting, or with relevant surveillance or dashcam footage, to contact the Winnipeg Police at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.