Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Shot in the eye, woman insists on finishing beer

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A Winnipeg woman somehow survived being shot through the eye in a New Year's Eve attack that claimed the life of her friend.

Justice sources say it was nothing short of a miracle the 30-year-old woman didn't become the city's 40th homicide victim of 2011. Police and paramedics arrived inside the Selkirk Avenue home in the early hours of Dec. 31 to find the woman calmly sitting in a chair.

"It was like she was oblivious to what had happened. She didn't want any treatment until after she finished her beer," a source told the Free Press. The woman was severely impaired, either by drugs or alcohol or both, and seemed to be showing no discomfort despite the obvious injury she suffered. There were as many as 10 other people in the home, also in various states of impairment.

"Its going to take a considerable amount of time to speak to those individuals," police spokeswoman Const. Natalie Aitken said last weekend.

The body of 46-year-old Michael Warren Sinclair was found inside the same room. He was pronounced dead at hospital. Police have made no arrests in what was the 39th, and final, homicide of a record-setting year. Winnipeg's previous high was 34.

Sources say the woman remains in hospital for her injuries but is listed in stable condition.

They point to her as a classic example of how many other "close calls" there were last year, where either quick medical help or divine intervention saved the body count from going even higher.

Sinclair's family declined to comment to the Free Press, but one relative said her brother was not linked to gangs. Neighbours said the two-storey house was known as a gathering place for drug users and partiers.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 5, 2012 B1

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