A deadly shooting inside a Pembina Highway restaurant Thursday morning is connected to the city’s illicit drug trade, the Free Press has learned.
One man died and another was seriously injured after they were hit with gunfire while inside Salisbury House around 3 a.m.
Multiple sources have identified the deceased as Jeffrey Lau. He was rushed to hospital with upper-body wounds but could not be saved.
Sources say the injured victim is an associate of Lau’s.
"Both have ties to Winnipeg’s drug trafficking underworld. There is a lot of turmoil in Winnipeg’s very competitive illicit drug market right now," a source told the Free Press.
Six bullet holes can be seen in the front window of the restaurant. A handgun was found on the street at Hector Avenue and Stafford Street, several blocks from the restaurant.
Police Chief Keith McCaskill said although the investigation is still in its infancy, the victims are believed to have been targeted by the shooter.
"This does not appear to be a random shooting and it appears that the individual has fled the area," said McCaskill.
There are no concerns for public safety, police said in a release.
No restaurant employees were wounded, Salisbury House vice-president Brad Kramble said.
Kramble said several aspects of the incident were caught on the restaurant's surveillance video cameras, those videos have been turned over to police.
As of 9 a.m., Kramble believed all the employees and customers in the restaurant at the time of the shooting were still being questioned by police. "To my knowledge they are all still with the police at this time," he said.
Stafford Street was reopened to traffic about 9 a.m. after being closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic between Pembina Highway and Grant Avenue.