Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Stabbed man dies in eatery

City’s 26th homicide of 2012

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A 39-year-old man lurched into the Pizza Shack on Sargent Avenue early Friday evening clutching his slashed and bleeding throat, sat down and tried to ask for help.

He couldn’t make a sound.

Within minutes, the man was dead, Winnipeg’s 26th homicide victim this year.

Police were saying little about him Saturday.

Const. Jason Michalyshen said police were called to the 500 block of Sargent Avenue about 6:30 p.m. Friday, where they found a man who appeared to have been stabbed. He was pronounced dead in hospital.

Police have not yet released his name — they’re awaiting the results of an autopsy.

Staff member Navtej Vains said the man pushed open the door of the family owned Pizza Shack at Sargent and Sherbrook Street Friday evening, bleeding profusely from the left side of his neck.

"He tried to say something, but could not," said Vains.

Vains was not there at the time, but has watched the horrific scene on the pizza/East Indian food shop’s security video. He spoke on behalf of his sister, Ravinder Uppal, whose English is limited — she called 911 Friday night and tried to help the man.

"A lot of blood was here," Vains said.

The man, whom he did not recognize, first sat in one of the restaurant’s chairs, then slumped to the floor.

Police and paramedics worked on the man, but, "after five or six minutes, he died," said Vains.

"Three customers were here. They’re gone right away," Vains said.

Nearby resident Garry McKay said the man appeared to be stabbed at a party in the three-storey walkup apartment building directly across the street on the east side of Sherbrook, where McKay resides.

"The police are always in and out of this building," McKay said.

McKay said a party had started around 2 p.m. Friday in a unit on the second floor at the back of the building.

"They’re always partying every weekend," McKay said.

"He was stabbed up there, apparently."

The building is undergoing renovations and only a handful of units is occupied.

McKay said he came out of his apartment around 7:30 p.m. to go to the store and found the building and back lane filled with police and at least seven cruisers.

He saw three handcuffed men taken out of the building by police.

"Two more were sitting on the floor, handcuffed," McKay said.

The five men ranged from their 20s and up, he said.

Michalyshen said some potential witnesses may have been handcuffed for security while police sorted out the situation, but the men were not necessarily arrested.

McKay said he saw "a trail of blood leading from the building to the pizza store."

McKay didn’t know anyone living in that unit and didn’t recognize any of the handcuffed men.

"Every weekend, you come out of the apartment, you see blood in the hall," lamented McKay, who will be moving soon.

The door of the Pizza Shack displayed a Crimestoppers pamphlet seeking information about a homicide in the area — the shooting death of 42-year-old Allan Crockford in April. He was shot to death and robbed of his beer while walking on Maryland Street, the city’s 10th murder victim of 2012.

nick.martin@freepfress.mb.ca

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