Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 02/26/2013 7:15 PM
Last Modified: 02/27/2013 2:27 PM | Updates
A man found dead in a suite of a rooming house on Balmoral Street on Tuesday had been assaulted, police said today.
Police were on scene throughout the night at the three-storey rooming house in the 600 block of Balmoral Street.
Members of the Winnipeg Police Service identification unit have been going in and out of the house, located on the west side of Balmoral between Notre Dame and Cumberland avenues.
A police source confirmed the identity of the victim as Ron McKinnon. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death.
The rooming house is owned by Robert Shwaluk, of Shoal Lake, and his son, Jeffrey Shwaluk, who lives in Winnipeg.
Robert Shwaluk said this afternoon that he was unaware one his tenants had been beaten to death.
Shwaluk said he and his son bought the rooming house two years ago, adding they knew it had an unsavoury reputation at the time.
Shwaluk said his son has made efforts to clean up the home and make it safer for tenants.
"He’s been working as a security guard there to try and watch to see who is coming in," Shwaluk said. "My son has been working quite diligently to clear that up.
"He’s been trying to make his presence there to observe the tenants and non-tenants that are coming in and out to try and make it a little bit safer place for the tenants that are there."
Shwaluk said his son imposed rules on the tenants to make it safer and curtail the violence that dogged it in the past, including making it "quiet time" after 11 p.m.
Shwaluk said he did not know the victim or any of the other tenants.
Fred Redekop, owner of Fleet Autobody, said the rooming house has been a scourge in the neighbourhood for years.
"Welcome to Murder Mansion. It’s extremely, extremely bad," said Redekop, whose business has been a neighbour to the rooming house since 1987. "I’ve had knives pulled on me in the mornings when I’m opening up."
Redekop said the rooming house is known as a violent crack house where at least two murders have taken place in recent times.
"Families with kids don’t live there," Redekop said.
Redekop said there are as many as 18 suites in the large building. He believes it is structurally unsound and city officials told him that it doesn’t meet building or health codes.
A former owner had planned to convert the building into six apartments for refugees but that plan fell through.
"Everyone who lives there is on social assistance, so it’s a money-machine for the owner."
Over the years, Redekop said the city tried to demolish the building and the Justice Department attempted to shut it down because of the drug dealing.
Sex trade workers had used the building in the past, however, Redekop added that a new owner bought the building in the past year and the criminal activity and acts of violence seemed to have quieted down in the past few months
Police were called to the house around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Several people were taken away in the backs of police cruisers, including one man in handcuffs.
Several people at the rooming house are being questioned police said.
The police forensics team arrived shortly after 6 p.m.
Updated on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 11:01 PM CST: updates
February 27, 2013 at 8:27 AM: Updated
10:24 AM: Winnipeg police say the man has died.
11:49 AM: Clarifies location of house.
2:27 PM: updates with victim's name, comments from building's owner
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Tory MP retracts video devices advice
Humane society sticks up for Winnipeg zoo
Ferguson residents clean up, hope for calm night
Ugly but still worth two points
Australian batsman Hughes dies after head knock
City resumes search for CAO
Ebola vaccine seems safe in first-stage testing
Ghomeshi will plead not guilty:Lawyer
Black Friday booming
Life sentence upheld for conviction in rooming-house fire that killed 5
Concert set to help Bannock Lady
New Brunswick to ease access to abortion
New clam species discovered off B.C. coast
Cosby testimony describes accuser's spiked story
Charges laid in Red Sucker Lake homicide
Winning designs for 2015 warming huts unveiled
Province to create new policing program for First Nations
Feds warn dozens of First Nations may lose funding
Dauphin police seek teen missing nearly a week
Housing affordability improves in Manitoba
Complaints of police misconduct down in 2013: report
Calgary-based transport giant acquires Gardewine Group
City man found dead in river near Belize home
Seal death raises questions
Canada Post on track to profit in 2014
Goldeyes deal Blackwood to T-Bones
Fire destroys St. Norbert home, damages home next door
Wilgosh to leave top job with WRHA
Farmers in Manitoba having a good year so far
Closer to exoneration
Bitterly cold November day one to remember
Activists raise Raqqa strikes' death toll to 95
No one wins in Douglas case
Hutchinson's hand still hot
Try not to be haughty, enjoy humour à la potty
Passengers in Russia's Arctic give airliner a push
Video: Cop shot boy seconds after encountering him
Home ownership slightly more affordable in Q3
New Thai tourism strategy: 'I Hate Thailand'
In Britain, US turkey dinner is big for business