Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

High praise for a fallen friend

Woman tells of knife attack, man who died aiding victims

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Police officers  and cadets guard the stabbing scene in the  400 block of Manitoba Avenue last Saturday.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Police officers and cadets guard the stabbing scene in the 400 block of Manitoba Avenue last Saturday. Photo Store

Michael Flett died a hero, saving several friends from a knife-wielding man who allegedly shouted gang slogans during his unprovoked rampage.

That's the picture painted by a witness to last week's attack in the North End that killed Flett, 30, and left several other people injured.

"Mikey saved us that night. He is my hero," Salina Merry told the Free Press. She was one of the victims and was slashed in the arm. She was relieved to learn Friday afternoon police had made an arrest.

"More could have died that night," Merry said.

Michael Roulette, 18, is charged with second-degree murder and two counts of assault with a weapon. He is in custody at the Winnipeg Remand Centre, and sources say further arrests could be pending.

None of the allegations has been proven and Roulette, who goes by the nickname of "Russian" Roulette, is presumed innocent.

'Mikey saved us that night. He is my hero' -- Salina Merry

Merry played a key role in helping to identify a suspect, including sending homicide detectives disturbing Facebook photos she found in the hours after the attack.

In the images, which were shared with the Free Press, a young man is posing with a knife and claiming he is out to "terrorize."

Merry said the images were posted and time-stamped from last Friday evening. Hours later, Flett was killed while standing outside a home in the 400 block of Manitoba Avenue.

In a tearful interview earlier this week, Flett's mother told the Free Press he was trying to protect others when he was killed. She was too distraught to provide further details, but Merry filled in some of the blanks Friday.

Merry claims two men approached her, her husband and others in the early morning hours last Saturday while they were in a backyard.

One of the men began shouting he was a member of the Indian Posse street gang.

"He kept saying it, kept saying exactly who he was, his name, 'you bitches,' over and over again as he was swinging the knife," Merry said.

She suffered a small wound, as did her husband and another friend, and the three ran for their lives.

Merry said Flett then came to their aid and paid the ultimate price, suffering a fatal wound moments later.

She believes Flett initially escaped his attackers, but returned to the scene to retrieve his glasses after they fell off.

A neighbour on Manitoba Avenue found him on the street, struggling to stay alive. He had a knife wound to his head.

"He got there and there was blood everywhere and Mike was not moving," Merry said. She said a young child in the neighbourhood is the only person who directly witnessed the stabbing as it happened.

Merry is no stranger to people caught in the criminal justice system. She is the daughter of James Driskell, who spent 13 years in prison after he was wrongfully convicted of the 1990 murder of Perry Dean Harder.

Driskell was freed in 2003, after the Crown learned the Winnipeg Police Service withheld information that could have changed the result of the original trial.

Flett's killing was one of three fatal Winnipeg stabbings, all unrelated, on the Canada Day long weekend.

Police say their investigations are ongoing.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact investigators at 204-986-6508.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 6, 2013 A3

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