Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Baby on way, father slain

Mom-to-be weeps for dead boyfriend

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The pregnant girlfriend of a man fatally shot said he wanted to escape gang life and was looking forward to becoming a father.

Frankie Campbell, 19, said she was by her boyfriend Darren George's side as he was pulled off life support late Thursday night. The 22-year-old had been rushed to hospital after he was shot on the 700 block of Beverley Street early Wednesday morning.

Campbell said George had talked to her about wanting to move away with her to raise a family.

"A lot of people say that he was just a gang member, but he was more than that -- he was a proud daddy, he was a proud uncle, he was a proud friend, he was a proud family member," said Campbell, who sobbed in front of reporters as she spent time with members of George's family Friday at their home.

George was linked to the Native Syndicate, a street gang, and had been in trouble with the law.

But his girlfriend said he wanted out and planned to go to school and leave the area where he'd spent his whole life.

The pair had known each other for years and Campbell is three months pregnant with George's child. On Friday, she held a black-and-white ultrasound photo of the baby she'll now raise on her own.

"Because of the gang violence and stuff happening, my family and I moved to Edmonton because they wanted me to have a new start," she said.

"And me and Darren said to each other, 'If this is real love, there's going to be a way that we're going to find each other in the future,' and we did."

His mother, Natalie Matinet, said her son planned to leave Winnipeg.

"He's having a baby, and he wanted to change his life," she said.

Of her son's killer, she said later: "Why? Why did you do this, whoever you are?"

Police said shortly after the shooting, officers tracked down a taxi near Pembina Highway and Chancellor Drive.

The taxi had reportedly left the area near where the shooting happened and its occupants were temporarily taken into custody.

Winnipeg Police Service spokeswoman Const. Natalie Aitken said police weren't calling the males suspects in the shooting or specifying the number of males in the cab.

"This is an ongoing investigation. The main priority right now is to locate the individuals or individual that would be responsible for this crime," Aitken said.

Anyone with information on George's death is asked to call 986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 786-8477 (TIPS).

Police said George's death is the city's 37th homicide of the year.

The homicide unit is also investigating the death of Dominique McCann, 19, who died in hospital after she was rushed there Dec. 2. Although police initially described McCann as a homicide victim, they are now treating her death as suspicious.

 

gabrielle.giroday@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 10, 2011 B1

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Updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 9:40 AM CST: Name of Dominique McCann corrected

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