Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'He didn't deserve this'

Another young slaying victim mourned; man charged

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BOUQUETS of flowers framed a picture of the smiling face of Raymond Crowder -- a makeshift shrine dedicated to the latest young man to die violently in Winnipeg.

Crowder, 21, was found lying on the street in The Maples with a gunshot wound to his head. Police said yesterday a man is facing charges in the slaying.

Crowder was rushed to Health Sciences Centre but was declared dead when he arrived.

The homicide was the city's 14th of 2003 and the eighth since mid-May. The majority of victims have been men under the age of 25.

Yesterday, Crowder's family gathered around the shrine on Manor House Court, trying to make sense of the slaying.

"He didn't deserve this," said his mother, Judy Crowder, near a picture of the young man -- with a slight smile wearing a red baseball cap -- and flowers that were placed against a tree near the spot where he died.

Crowder said she and Raymond, the youngest of her six children, had supper at McDonald's at about 8 p.m. Friday night. She said she then dropped him off at the corner of Inkster Boulevard and Fife Street.

"He had some friends who lived around there," said Crowder, adding that her son lived with her in St. Vital.

Crowder said she was supposed to pick Raymond up later that night.

She said he apparently called at about 11 p.m. but she had left her phone in the front seat of her car.

"I missed the call," said Crowder, adding that she didn't realize she had left the phone in her vehicle until about 1 a.m.

Police said that at about 3:10 a.m. Saturday they received a call concerning shots fired in front of 110 Manor House Court. The area is a mix of family-owned homes and low-rental housing.

There they found Crowder lying on the street with a gunshot wound to the head.

Officers on the scene with the help of the canine unit tracked the suspect and a 13-year-old boy to the front of a nearby residence. A gun was seized at the scene.

A 19-year-old man is facing charges of second-degree murder in the incident.

Police were not releasing his name yesterday and provided few other details about the shooting.

Crowder, who was surrounded by her other children, said she can't understand why anybody would shoot her son. She said he wasn't a gang member as some reports had suggested.

"My son was not a gang member at any time," said Crowder.

One family member said police told them that Crowder was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The slain man had recently become a father. His three-month-old daughter lived in Churchill with her mother.

Crowder is the latest in a rash of young men killed this year:

On June 14, 24-year-old Billy James McKay, formerly of God's River First Nation, was killed and his wife charged with second-degree murder following a pre-dawn stabbing during a party at a friend's residence at 411 Seven Oaks Ave. in West Kildonan.

On June 6, 18-year-old Morgan Trudeau was beaten to death in a field behind the Pembina Hotel. A 19-year-old and two 17-year-old youths were charged.

On May 31, John Chubb, 15, was beaten to death with a baseball bat in an alley behind the West End Cultural Centre. Police charged a man with murder in that incident.

On May 12, 24-year-old Kevin Tokarchuk, the brother of a man accused of killing a Hells Angels associate, was shot to death at his home at 363 Churchill Dr., as part of an alleged planned gang retribution plot.

On May 11, 19-year-old Johndrick Tan was beaten to death outside an Exchange District nightclub by a group of men. Four suspects were charged with manslaughter.

On March 23, 14-year-old Rodger Ledger was in the back seat of a stolen car when a young teen standing in the street hurled a shovel at the vehicle. The shovel went through an open window and struck Ledger, killing him almost instantly. A 13-year-old boy was charged with manslaughter.

On Jan. 5, 20-year-old Trevor (TJ) Wiebe, a man linked to the city's drug trade, was left for dead after a serious beating in a snowy field north of St. Agathe. Wiebe's body was found Feb. 8. An autopsy showed he died of exposure after he was apparently beaten unconscious at the end of a farm access road off Provincial Road 200. Two men from Calgary were charged in the homicide.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 14, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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