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Bail denied for teen accused of supplying gun in nightclub shooting

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Rustom Paclipan was shot and killed in front of Opera Ultralounge on Main Street.


Rustom Paclipan was shot and killed in front of Opera Ultralounge on Main Street. Photo Store

A 16-year-old Winnipeg gang member accused of supplying the gun used in a fatal downtown nightclub shooting has lost his bid for bail.

The teen, who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is charged with manslaughter and weapons offences for his alleged role in the May incident outside Opera Ultralounge on Main Street. None of the allegations have been proven and he is presumed innocent.

He appeared in court Friday seeking to be released on strict conditions, including an absolute curfew. The Crown was opposed.

Provincial court Judge John Guy rejected the boy’s bid following nearly an hour of submissions. A court-ordered ban prevents specific details of the hearing, including the evidence presented by the Crown, from being published at this time.

No trial dates have been set.

Rustom Paclipan, 23, was gunned down shortly after the popular club closed for the night. Two other men, aged 18 and 24, were shot and wounded.

Marcus Richard, 21, is accused of pulling the trigger. He was arrested on board an eastbound train in Ontario several days after the slaying. He is charged with first-degree murder, indicating justice officials believe the incident was planned and premeditated. He remains in custody in Winnipeg and has not applied for bail.

Police say the teen is accused of bringing the gun that was used - allegedly by Richard - to shoot at the group of people and kill Paclipan.

"We know there was not a firearm within the nightclub. We believe, and know, that firearm was brought to the scene," police Const. Natali Aitken said earlier this summer.

Police say this was not a "random act" of violence. The two accused are linked to the same criminal organization, police said, and Paclipan is a known associate of a rival gang. Both groups had gathered that night at Opera and had a prior dispute preceding the shooting, police said.

"This would have had a gang component to it. These two separate groups had engaged in a confrontation," said Aitken.

Police have also said surveillance video played a "critical role" in their investigation.

Family and friends of the victim said they believe Paclipan heroically pushed his friends aside and took the bullet that could have been meant for someone else. He has no prior criminal record and was set to graduate soon from Red River College.

Winnipeg police Chief Devon Clunis has since launched an internal investigation into how 911 calls from the nightclub were handled. He revealed an initial call came in at 1:39 a.m. from the owner of Opera, saying two groups of men appeared to be in conflict with each other.

The call was entered moments later, but then suddenly cancelled at 1:59 a.m. from within the 911 centre before being dispatched. Four minutes later, the second 911 call came in reporting shots had been fired. Police arrived to find Paclipan had already been rushed by friends to hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Who cancelled it and why are now the subject of the police review which has dragged on for nearly four months.


Updated on Friday, August 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM CDT: Clarifies headline.

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