Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Standoff victim killed himself

Died of single gunshot, police finally reveal week after shooting

  • Print

With a team of heavily armed officers surrounding the only home he'd ever known, a distraught Andrew Baryluk ended his own life with a single gunshot.

Winnipeg police broke a week of silence Wednesday, finally revealing how the 52-year-old man died during a 17-hour standoff on Stella Avenue.

Handling

of news

upsets

family

A relative of Andrew Baryluk is upset over the Winnipeg Police Service's handling of its news release on the death of the 52-year-old in a 17-hour standoff on Stella Avenue.

The release on Wednesday revealed Baryluk was killed by a single, self-inflicted gunshot.

In an email, the relative said the family was "informed in a way which left no space between being informed and the police having the... press release."

"They informed Andrew's three older siblings in one group and went to inform Billy (Baryluk) alone. Billy was another one who was not allowed to talk to Andrew and is angry about it. The older siblings did not ask any questions. They are of a generation which does not ask police questions. I didn't have enough time to get in from the country or I would have been there and asked questions."

The relative said police told family Andrew "was killed by a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound from a small-calibre handgun that they recovered.

"They were told that he must have shot himself around 9 p.m. because that was the last time they heard any sound from the home. They didn't say whether Andrew had fired more than that one fatal shot."

It is a mystery how Andrew got his hands on a gun, the relative wrote. Andrew's older brother is a gun collector "but his guns are all registered and accounted for... He wasn't on speaking terms with Andrew for many years."

Related Items

Chief Devon Clunis defended the secrecy surrounding their ongoing investigation, which led to plenty of anger and speculation from Baryluk's family members he may have been killed by a police bullet rather than his own hand.

"In the perfect world, we would love to be able to give you information instantaneously. But these are complex investigations," Clunis said. He admitted family members were told of Baryluk's suicide only minutes before the news conference.

Police also provided a more detailed timeline about the July 30-31 incident. Officers were called by family members around 10:45 a.m. after Baryluk spoke of harming himself with a gun if forced to vacate the home. Family members had recently sold the residence and Baryluk had been ordered evicted through the courts.

c_

Police say they established contact with Baryluk by telephone, but that ended in the early evening hours. It was around 8:20 p.m. that police were trying to deliver another communication device to the home when the situation deteriorated.

Family members had previously said officers threw a "flash bang" into the home. Clunis said Wednesday that's not true. He said it's "my assumption" Baryluk opened fire as officers got close to the residence.

"They were moving in to place a communication device, not assaulting the house," said Clunis. "Shots were fired from within the residence; that's why officers retreated. Officers returned fire and retreated."

Clunis would not say what type of firearm Baryluk had or where he obtained it. As well, he wouldn't say how many shots were directed at police during the standoff, how many officers returned fire or how many shots were sent in Baryluk's direction.

Clunis said many of those answers will come from a forensic and ballistics analysis that is ongoing and is nothing like what the public sees on television crime dramas.

"I think we have a bit of a microwave mentality of investigations, that they are completed very quickly. That is not the reality of police work," said Clunis.

The Free Press reported earlier this week Baryluk had started flooding the home, which forced police to cut off the water and power supply because of fears of a fire or electrocution.

Clunis said they finally entered the home around 3 a.m., where Baryluk was found unconscious. An autopsy was conducted the next day, but isn't fully complete. Police are still waiting on toxicology results but said Wednesday they were able to release his cause of death.

"To be fair, if we came out very quickly and gave certain information, and later on discovered additional details, as much as I understand and appreciate that people want details very quickly, I think it's also prudent to ensure the information we are providing to you is as close to complete as we possibly can," said Clunis.

Seven officers involved in the incident have submitted written reports and remain on administrative leave, which is standard procedure. They will also undergo a mental-health assessment with a psychologist before returning to duty.

Baryluk's family has been critical of police for not allowing them to speak with the barricaded man, whom they described as suffering from undiagnosed mental illness. They believe they could have convinced him to surrender peacefully.

Clunis wouldn't say Wednesday why that request would have been denied.

"I'm really not going to get into the tactics; that's left for an operational debrief," he said. "Each and every situation is incredibly dynamic. I do not know what the incident commander was dealing with at the time."

Finally, Clunis defended the fact police homicide detectives are leading the investigation, rather than bringing in an outside, independent agency as the RCMP do.

"I really don't think that's necessary in this incident," said Clunis. "We're a very open and transparent organization. The number 1 thing for myself is the integrity and professionalism of our officers. I know the calibre of officers we have here. I absolutely trust their integrity."

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 7, 2014 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

City Beautiful book on the Friesens presses

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • KEN GIGLIOTTI  WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / July 23 2009 - 090723 - Bart Kives story - Harry Lazarenko Annual River Bank Tour - receding water from summer rains and erosion  damage by flood  and ice  during spring flooding -  Red River , Lyndale Dr. damage to tree roots , river bank damage  , high water marks after 2009 Flood - POY
  • Perfect Day- Paul Buteux walks  his dog Cassie Tuesday on the Sagimay Trail in Assiniboine Forest enjoying a almost perfect  fall day in Winnipeg- Standup photo – September 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Canada send heavy military equipment to Ukraine?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google