A bizarre shooting incident six years ago outside a Garry Street bar that injured five people has earned a young man a five-year prison sentence.
Arnold Lanuza, 30, had pleaded guilty to firing a semi-automatic handgun on a crowded street in what was described as an act of revenge against the bar after one of his friends was hospitalized earlier in the evening in a fight with a club bouncer.
Justice Joan McKelvey noted this morning that Lanuza had no prior criminal record and no criminal links, but added his actions that night "were dangerous and utterly senseless."
Court was told Lanuza intended only to shoot up the club's sign but lost control as the handgun recoiled and wildly fired seven shots in all directions.
McKelvey accepted the joint recommendation from Crown prosecutor Dale Harvey and defence counsel Roberta Campbell that Lanuza serve four years for criminal negligence causing bodily harm and an additional one year for possessing a prohibited weapon with ammunition.
One of the victims, a young woman who suffered the most severe injuries, submitted a victim impact statement which described how the shooting affected her.
"I can't even begin to describe how awful it was to be waiting for a safe ride home one minute, and be lying on the sidewalk in a pool of my own blood the next," said the woman, who was a third year commerce student at the University of Manitoba at the time, but had to quit her studies and her job and return to her Vancouver home after her release from hospital.
The main artery in the woman's arm was severed by a bullet and she continues to suffer pain where she was hit.
"To this day, I constantly have a fear that something bad will happen to me or someone I love...
"No matter how hard I try, I will never, ever get that horrific night out of my mind."
McKelvey said Lanuza was genuinely remorseful for his actions. He had been on bail for six years since being arrested and never breached his conditions.
Lanuza broke down in tears as he apologized to the court for his actions.
"I wish I could go back in time and undo what I did," Lanuza said as tears streamed down his face. "All the pain I caused all those people, there's no excuse.
"I just want to put it out there that I'm sorry for what I did."