Teen nearly dies after gruesome stabbing at bush party on city’s edge Vicious attack early Saturday morning followed argument with uninvited group
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The young woman was covered in blood and applying pressure to her boyfriend’s slashed-open stomach, as he prayed and waited for help after being repeatedly stabbed at a bush party on the outskirts of Winnipeg early Saturday morning.
“I was terrified, I couldn’t believe what was going on, I was in a state of shock — that’s someone who I spend a lot of my time with, who I trust and love more than anyone else in the world,” the 18-year-old woman who asked not to be identified told the Free Press.
“We’ve talked about the future together. I was just terrified that that was going to be taken from us.”
“We’ve talked about the future together. I was just terrified that that was going to be taken from us.” – Victim’s girlfriend
The attack that left her 18-year-old boyfriend in critical condition occurred around 12:30 a.m., after an argument between the teens who organized the gathering in a wooded area off Community Row about two kilometres south of Wilkes Avenue and others who weren’t invited.
Just-graduated Oak Park High School students organized the event also attended by an estimated 60 students and recent graduates from Westwood and Vincent Massey collegiates, among others.
The group of people who crashed the party included men who appeared older than school age and were asked to leave. The situation became heated and the group was escorted away from the site. The situation deteriorated on the path out of the bush, leading to a fight and the stabbing.
The victim appeared with blood squirting from his armpit, holding his left lower abdomen, where he had been partially eviscerated.
His girlfriend applied pressure to the stomach wound until a friend took over, allowing her to hold the victim’s head. She told him he would be OK, while others frantically tried to tend to his numerous wounds.
“He was praying and just saying, ‘This isn’t how it’s going to be, this can’t be how I die,’” the woman said.
His friends directed her away from the scene as they took over his care, and she collapsed to her knees when she found her girlfriends, sobbing as they washed her boyfriend’s blood from her hands.
“Everyone is pretty traumatized by it, but… banded together really well, and I think that everyone who was there helping him deserves credit for being so brave and for saving his life,” she said.
“They stabilized him before paramedics and officers were there… he deserves a lot of credit, too, for being so brave.”
“Everyone is pretty traumatized by it, but… banded together really well, and I think that everyone who was there helping him deserves credit for being so brave and for saving his life.” – Victim’s girlfriend
Winnipeg Police Service was called to the scene at 12:39 a.m. The first two officers to arrive couldn’t locate the victim initially, but travelled down the gravel road for about two kilometres until several teens flagged them down.
The teens said that their friend had been stabbed but was some distance away in a bushy, muddy area. The officers gathered their medical equipment and were led about a kilometre through the difficult terrain to where he was.
He was suffering from a large stab wound to his right chest, another near his left armpit and a laceration near his spine, a police source said.
The worst injury, the source said, was on the man’s lower left abdomen, where his intestines were protruding from the wound.
At a news conference Monday, police spokesman Const. Jay Murray said officers applied multiple chest seals and other emergency medical aid along with Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service personnel.
“Our officers were told when they arrived at the hospital, that had those attempts to stabilize him not occurred, this would’ve been a homicide,” Murray told reporters.
The police source said Tuesday responding paramedics’ bandages weren’t large enough to treat the gaping wound alone, so officers had to assist with bandages from tactical medical kits. In total, 11 police cars responded to the scene on the edge of south Winnipeg, along with fire paramedic service personnel.
The victim remains in hospital, where his condition has improved, his girlfriend told the Free Press.
“Our officers were told when they arrived at the hospital, that had those attempts to stabilize him not occurred, this would’ve been a homicide.” – Const. Jay Murray
Apart from many fresh-looking ruts in the muck, there were no obvious signs of the near-death emergency response Tuesday morning on Community Row, a gravel road that turns to dirt set between farm fields with patches of dense bush on the edges.
A few crushed beer cans and an empty vodka bottle sat near a spent firework left near a rail crossing adjacent to hydro lines, which intersect the single-lane road about two kilometres south of Wilkes Avenue.
Major crimes investigators have spoken to numerous witnesses from the scene and made “significant progress” on the investigation, Murray said Monday, but as of Tuesday morning no arrests had been made.
— With files from Jeff Hamilton
Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.
Updated on Tuesday, July 12, 2022 7:51 PM CDT: Corrected typo, added quote