Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Neighbours shaken by two deaths

'Suspicious' circumstances in Island Lakes; body taken from West End house

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Winnipeg police will brief the media this morning about the city’s latest homicide – believed to be the death of a woman that occurred late Tuesday afternoon at a home on Island Shore Boulevard.

Police officers guarded a home in the quiet neighbourhood of Island Lakes on Tuesday night as they investigated a suspicious death -- the second of the day.

Emergency crews responded to a report of a fatality in the 500 block of Island Shore Boulevard shortly after 6 p.m. Initial reports suggested the victim had throat lacerations.

Neighbours stood outside their homes, watching as seven police cruisers converged on the block.

"We're investigating a suspicious death," a police inspector said.

By 7 p.m., three individuals from the house were escorted into the back of separate cruisers. One, a middle-aged woman, was visibly distraught. A younger woman in a white hoodie was seen sitting on a curb outside the cruiser. Her head was bowed and a uniformed police officer was at her side.

"I heard somebody yell and then after a little while, I heard the sirens," said one neighbour, who gave his first name as Paul.

Paul gestured to the home and indicated a man leaning against the side of a garage as the neighbour he'd heard yelling just before emergency crews arrived.

"I think he called 911," added Paul's friend, a man who gave his name as Gary.

Both men, watching the situation with their wives at their sides said the home had changed hands recently.

The original owner, a jeweller, sold the house about two years ago and neighbours said it was a daycare for a short time. They said they didn't know the people living in the house.

Up the street, another neighbour said he and his wife were among the first to move into the neighbourhood when the subdivision was developed seven years ago.

"Seven or eight cop cars? We never see that happen," he said, adding "This is the most action we've seen forever."

Earlier Tuesday, crews were called to remove a body from a rooming house in the 800 block of Home Street.

Authorities declined to comment and would not confirm it was a homicide.

The rooming house is known for loud, raucous parties, neighbours said.

The house was surrounded by police throughout Tuesday afternoon and evening, and yellow police tape cordoned off the property.

Homeowners in the area confirmed the house was home to six people, including a man and a woman on the second floor.

There'd been an argument that spilled outside to the front yard in the hours before police were called, neighbours said.

"We don't know if it was a suicide or a homicide," said one woman.

A neighbour told the media earlier in the day five men had been taken from the home but the woman who lived on the second floor had not been seen.

Early in the evening, Fang Chen, who lives a couple of doors down from the home where the body was found, said twice in the past year fire trucks were called to the residence.

"Last year, they had fires. Two times," Chen said.

Her husband, Ling Xie, said the removal of a body Tuesday from the same house makes him uneasy for the safety of his family.

"I'm scared about this situation," he said.

The couple said they worry about allowing their boy, 9, outside to play and they said after two years in the neighbourhood, the incident may be the final straw for them.

They're thinking of moving to a safer neighbourhood.

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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 2, 2012 A5


Updated on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:54 AM CDT: Added video.

10:34 AM: Updates with announcement of press conference

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