Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Police pistol stolen as officers celebrate bust
Gun found at home of man tied to gang
The theft of the .40-calibre Glock semi-automatic pistol and ammunition happened late last Friday as police gang unit members were in a restaurant celebrating arrests they had made the day before. Police believe those arrests foiled a street-gang murder plot.
Last Tuesday, police located the gun during a raid at a Flora Avenue home during which an officer shot a dog. Three men, two with suspected gang connections, have been arrested. Police continue to investigate and say more arrests are possible this weekend.
The Winnipeg Police Service said nothing to the media about the missing handgun, the raid and recovery, or the shooting of the dog. The Free Press learned of the incidents through anonymous police and street sources.
Police spokesman Const. Bob Johnson said yesterday he couldn't comment on the theft and hunt for the weapon. And he said the ongoing investigation prevented him from discussing whether the officer's gun was safely secured in his vehicle.
He also wouldn't say if there will be an internal investigation into the theft of the gun or the shooting of the dog.
More information may be released next week, said Johnson.
The dog, which is part wolf and goes by the name Shee Shee, survived the Tuesday night shooting and is under medical care at the Pembina Veterinary Hospital.
The owner -- who is the mother of one of the suspects -- said yesterday police shot Shee Shee for no reason, explaining that the dog was in her backyard doghouse and posed no threat to the officers.
But police say the dog bit a female officer during a search of the Flora Avenue residence, which uncovered the stolen gun hidden under a back porch.
Police also found several other weapons, including a sawed-off shotgun and dozens of rounds of ammunition, according to court documents.
The incident began last weekend and triggered an intense police manhunt, street sources said yesterday.
Members of the city police gang unit were at Earl's restaurant on Main Street late in the evening of Oct. 10 to celebrate their recent work in foiling a suspected murder plot, according to sources.
Police had arrested several members of the Indian Posse street gang the previous day. They believed those arrests prevented other gang members from being shot or killed.
While police were inside the eatery, a thief broke into one of the officer's vehicles, which was in the parking lot.
Sources say the thief grabbed the officer's .40-calibre Glock semi-automatic pistol, ammunition, a gun belt, handcuffs and blue gang unit jacket, which were inside the vehicle.
Gang unit members discovered the break-in when they left the restaurant later that night and immediately began searching for the missing firearm.
Within hours, the gun and other police items were up for sale on the city's black market, sources said yesterday.
But the police service, led by the gang unit, wasn't far behind.
Just hours after the theft, officers caught and arrested the alleged thief and began connecting the dots on the gun's location.
Police soon identified a man who allegedly bought the gun for $500. He also was arrested and detained in custody.
Street sources say the man is connected to LHS -- Loyalty, Honour and Silence, a street gang with ties to the Hells Angels.
A Free Press investigation earlier this year revealed the two brothers who run the gang have registered LHS as a legitimate business with the provincial government.
They claim to be in the concert promotion industry but are facing numerous criminal charges, including kidnapping and possessing proceeds of crime.
With two suspects in custody, the Glock manhunt narrowed. Members of the gang unit finally learned Tuesday evening where the gun had been stashed, sources said yesterday.
Police quickly arrived in force at a house on Flora Avenue near Arlington Street.
Police took a third man into custody at the front of the house, which was owned by his mother, and located the gun.
Witnesses said several uniformed officers were guarding the back of the house when a single shot rang out.
The dog's owners said a male officer shot the female cross-breed in its snout. They said the officer's handgun was about six inches away from the dog's face when he fired at it.
Dried, matted blood and bits of bone and teeth could be seen yesterday in the bottom of the dog's house at the back of the messy backyard.
"The vet says she lost a third of her blood supply and that a lot of her tongue was burned away because of powder burn," said the female owner of the home.
"That's how close the gun was. Her jaw is also shattered, and she has to eat her dog food through a tube."
Her son was the suspect police took into custody at the front of the home.
Another man at the house yesterday said Shee Shee was nursing three puppies and is expected to recover.
The dog's owners, who didn't want their names published because of the ongoing investigation, said they may file a lawsuit against police.
Jason Lamoureux has been charged with theft under $5,000 and was released by police last weekend on a promise to appear in court.
Zyflo Abazi, 24, and Andrew Blyth, 22, are charged with more then a dozen weapons-related offences.
They were released on bail Thursday despite opposition from the Crown. A member of the gang unit was called to testify, but a court-ordered ban prevents details of the hearing from being published.
Provincial court Judge Murray Howell ordered both men to post $7,000 sureties. They are also restricted from having any contact with the alleged leaders of the LHS gang, the Zeneli's.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 18, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage
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