Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Teens charged with murder

Police arrest four youths after shots fired at party

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Four teens face murder charges after two 18-year-old men were shot and killed at a weekend house party in Elmwood.

Matthew Lawrence Victor Reynolds and Tyler Hawula were killed early Saturday morning when a gunman allegedly opened fire at a party in the 400 block of Martin Avenue West. A third teen identified by friends as 17-year-old Kyle St. Germaine sustained injuries to his forearm and shoulder, and is recovering from surgery in hospital.

Police arrested two 16-year-olds -- one of whom they believe was the shooter -- a 17-year-old, and 18-year-old Cody Ronald Delorme. They are each charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Winnipeg police spokesperson Const. Jason Michalyshen said it appears two boys, aged 16 and 17, were asked to leave the house party when they became involved in a dispute with other partygoers.

Michalyshen said police believe the youths met up with two other teenagers -- aged 16 and 18 -- and returned to the party with a shotgun.

He said the alleged 16-year-old shooter was the lone gunman and had not been at the party earlier that night. Michalyshen said the youth may have "some ties" to a gang.

Police arrested and charged all four teens with second-degree murder, saying they were all aware why they were returning to the party.

"Right now, these individuals appear to have retaliated in this fashion simply for the fact they were kicked out of a party," Michalyshen said.

A friend of the victim's, who didn't want to be identified, said St. Germaine told her in hospital on Saturday that he intervened when the gunman pointed the weapon at Hawula's mother shortly after midnight. The party was at Hawula's duplex on Martin Avenue West. He was also known as "T.J."

"Someone pointed a gun at T.J.'s mom. He yelled out, 'She had nothing to do with this,' and the guy aimed at his head. Kyle jumped and put up his arm," said the friend.

The friend said St. Germaine's arm was heavily bandaged in hospital.

"He didn't know T.J. and Matt were gone. He asked how they were, and I shook my head and he started crying."

Between 20 and 30 people were inside the duplex at the time of the shooting, Michalyshen said, confirming one of the victims was shot in the upper body, while the other was shot in the lower body. The gunman fired shots at close range.

"I don't think anybody can recall a young person of this age being charged with such an offence, let alone two homicides," Michalyshen said.

Reynolds and Hawula are the city's 27th and 28th murder victims this year.

Reynold's 19-year-old sister Anita said her brother was the kind of guy who looked out for his friends and family, always making sure they were safe. Anita said her 18-year-old brother, along with Hawula and St. Germaine "were all best buds."

Anita Reynolds said her brother told her he was heading to a party with his friends to "hang out and make sure everybody was OK and make sure it didn't get rowdy" about an hour before he was gunned down.

"He tried his best," she said during an interview on Saturday.

"I talked to two friends who were there and they said my brother wasn't drinking. He was making sure everyone was OK."

Anita said her brother leaves behind a two-year-old son. Reynolds dropped out of Elmwood High School last year, and Anita said her brother was hoping to return to school next year.

Winnipeg School Division will have crisis response staff in Elmwood High School this morning.

"We're going to have support teams in the school," principal Mike Babb said Sunday evening. "It's going to impact on the community."

When tragedies occur, school divisions send in teams of psychologists, social workers, and other counsellors to help students and staff.

Babb said the division is not acknowledging if any of the victims or other people attending the party on Martin Avenue West this weekend are current or former Elmwood High students. The school is a block away from the Martin Avenue house.

The double-homicide prompted an outpouring of grief over the weekend, as friends and family of the victims shared their shock and anger on Facebook tribute groups set up in memory of the slain teens. One friend of the slain teens who was at the party said he watched his two best friends die "in front of my face."

"You guys didn't deserve to die like that," wrote another person.

Police said both the victims and the two teens who were asked to leave the party had previously had contact with police, but added that contact was "minimal." Police have responded to incidents at the same row of duplexes in the past. Eighteen-year-old Matthew Dumas was fatally shot by police in January 2005 shortly after a robbery occurred at 474 Martin Ave. West. A group of male youths suspected of robbing one of the townhouses reportedly left the area in a taxi and were dropped off in the area of King Street and Dufferin Avenue, where Dumas encountered police.

jen.skerritt@freepress.mb.ca

-- with files from Nick Martin

and Joe Bryksa

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 7, 2009 A3

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