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This article was published 7/3/2010 (2576 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A 28-year-old man moving towards police with a machete in his hand was shot when he refused to drop his weapon, police said Sunday.
Police wounded Eric Russel Daniels, of Long Plain First Nation, Saturday evening near the intersection of Arlington Street and Sargent Avenue. He was rushed to hospital in critical condition and later died.
"They're going to take the appropriate steps they need to, to protect themselves and protect the public," said Const. Jackie Chaput, Winnipeg Police Service spokeswoman.
Daniels, the father of a nine-year-old son, had been drinking at the Maryland Hotel with his girlfriend and they were on their way to her Arlington Street home, said Daniels' brother Nicholas Courchene, 24.
Daniels got into a verbal dispute with another man on the 600 block of Home Street and police were called.
"When (police) encountered the suspect, they were immediately confronted by him and he refused to comply with their requests to disarm," said Chaput.
Witnesses say police fired three shots. Daniels was reportedly hit in the upper torso.
His hysterical girlfriend, Giselle Mackinnon, ran away from the scene, calling Daniels' brother, Courchene, on her cellphone. She told Courchene his brother was protecting her when the fight happened.
"I tried to get her to calm down and I told her to take a few breaths, and I told her to talk to me, and all she could get out to me was: 'They shot him. They didn't have to do that. He was only protecting us,' " said Courchene.
Mackinnon lashed out at police on Facebook Sunday night.
"The cops didn't (have to) shoot Eric three times last nite! Now he's gone forever. I will do whatever it takes (to) make the police force understand this is our Native land not theirs," read Mackinnon's Facebook profile on Sunday.
"Stop killing our people. I witnessed this, now I will let the truth be out there and let Winnipeg know that he was gone down on the first shot."
Mackinnon said Daniels -- an ex-Native Syndicate member who had recently exited the gang -- carried the machete in his duffel bag for protection.
The machete was about the size of a shoebox, she said.
As Daniels walked towards police, Mackinnon said officers fired three times and hit Daniels. She was standing across the street, watching as the scene played out.
"He started walking towards them with (the machete)," she said, adding Daniels lived constantly in fear of being attacked since he left the gang.
Daniels struggled with alcohol problems, according to court records and family members.
A 2009 media report said he was on a two-year supervised probation order after he pleaded guilty to theft under $5,000 for stealing a container of chocolates from a Portage la Prairie store. He told court he was intoxicated at the time of the theft.
"I'm trying my hardest," he said in the report. "It's a struggle to stay sober, but my goal is to keep myself sober."
Daniels recorded Peyote Healing Songs for the Native American Church, according to a profile on Sunshine Records' website.
Courchene said his brother sought treatment at different points of his life.
"He was on the path of correcting his life. We were all involved," said Courchene, who broke down describing how his brother won't see his graduation.
Police didn't comment on events leading to the shooting, but said the two men in the argument did not know each other.
Officers are trained to shoot someone if they are carrying weapons that pose an immediate risk to police safety. The two officers are on administrative leave, a standard move after a police-involved shooting.
Courchene plans to have a memorial for his brother in Long Plain. Family and friends also planned to have a candlelight vigil about 10 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Arlington and Sargent, at the time and place where Daniels was shot.
At the intersection on Sunday afternoon, a lone employee of Flying Pizza was spotted cleaning up the mess caused by the shooting. Its glass door had been largely shattered by two bullets, which left holes in a Coca-Cola cooler just inside the shop.
Long Plain First Nation Chief David Meeches was in the city with the family. He said he wants more details about the shooting and the police use-of-force policy.
"We'll be monitoring the situation very closely," he said.
July 24, 2009
An officer executing a drug warrant on Mountain Avenue shot a 27-year-old male, who was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Aug. 2, 2008
An officer answering a call for assistance on Simcoe Street shot a 26-year-old male. Glen McDougall was taken to hospital in critical condition where he later died.
Dec. 30, 2005
An officer responding to a 911 call on Portage Avenue shot a 24-year-old male. Zunga Bashir later died in hospital.
Jan. 31, 2005
An officer investigating a street mugging shot an 18-year-old male. Matthew Dumas died from his injuries.