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Police investigate suspected firebombing in Osborne Village

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/7/2011 (3144 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Fire investigator stands in front of tattoo shop this morning.

WAYNE GLOWACKI/ WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Fire investigator stands in front of tattoo shop this morning.

Winnipeg police know about 13 separate acts of violence in the month-long war between rival outlaw motorcycle gangs in the city.

Police confirmed today at a news conference that there have been seven fire-related incidents set since the first one on June 14, as well as a man shot on July 4 on Taft Crescent, shots fired on four other occasions, and a firearm found.

The latest incident saw a suspected firebombing at 187 Ink, an Osborne Village tattooing and body piercing business, at 177 Osborne St. at about 4 a.m.

Two men alleged to be involved in the firebombing are in custody.

Police said the department’s executive has mustered the organized crime unit, street crimes unit, community support unit, drug unit, morals unit, uniform patrol and arson strike force to investigate and shut down the conflict.

Police said that so far 15 people have been arrested for several offences including drug possession, outstanding warrants, and breaches of probation.

Wayne Nuytten, owner of 187 Ink, told the Free Press the incident caused about $450 damage, with a baseball-sized hole left in a window. He said he plans to beef up surveillance at the property.

Nuytten said he’s had the business for three years without a problem.

He said he is not a gang member, though he has customers who are.

"People get the wrong idea, big tattoo, big truck — I’m just a businessman, that’s all," said Nuytten, who said he wasn’t worried about his safety.

"Whether they targeted me, if that is the case, they targeted the wrong person, I guess," he said.

People who work, live and eat in the area had mixed reactions to the incident that appears to be part of an ugly gang war.

"It’s targeted," said an area resident walking to work. Like others the Free Press spoke to about the attack, he was afraid to have his name published. He said he isn’t concerned for his safety because of the gang war or the suspected firebombing along his route to work. "That doesn’t make it right, though."

A woman who works split shifts at two shops nearby said the heightened media attention to the violence has made her more wary, but that may not be a bad thing, she said. "People around here seem to have a sense of invulnerability."

Things will likely get worse, said two middle-aged men eating breakfast not far from 187 Ink.

"These are bad people," said one of the men. They have no concerns about innocent people getting hurt, he said. The concern is that the gang violence spills over to passersby and businesses nearby, added his friend.

"It’s what happens peripherally," said his friend.

Meanwhile, police confirmed that shots were fired in the 100 block of Mighton Avenue on June 26, 1500 block of Roy Avenue on June 27, first 100 block of Canberra Road on June 28, and 100 block of Stranmillis Avenue on June 29.

Police said they found a firearm in the 100 block of Kingston Row on June 29, just days before a man was shot a few blocks away in the first 100 block of Taft Crescent on July 4.

Besides the fire on June 14 in the 1800 block of Logan Avenue and the latest one in Osborne Village, police confirmed they also are investigating a fire in the same block on July 6, as well as fires in the 200 block of St. Mary’s Road and 200 block of Royal Avenue on July 10, the 1700 block of King Edward Street on July 11, and the 100 block of Mighton Avenue on July 12.

 

The glass door was damaged and the entrance way charred at 187 Ink. The sign hanging over the custom tattooing and body piercing establishment has the name of the shop framed by handguns. Police taped off the sidewalk in front of the shop at 177 Osborne St. and placed cans over evidence.

Police aren't saying what transpired there, but it's believed an attempt was made to firebomb the business. There was no fire, however, and no injuries have been reported.

Wayne Nuytten, owner of 187 Ink, told the Free Press the incident caused about $450 damage, with a baseball-sized hole left in a window. He said he plans to beef up surveillance at the property. 

Nuytten said he's had the business for three years without a problem.

He said he is not a gang member, though he has customers who are.

"People get the wrong idea, big tattoo, big truck, I'm just a businessman, that's all," said Nuytten, who said he wasn't worried about his safety.

"Whether they targeted me, if that is the case, they targeted the wrong person, I guess," he said.

"It’s targeted," said an area resident walking to work. Like others the Free Press spoke to about

Nuytten said he believes police have apprehended two people in connection with the fire.

People who work, live, and eat in the area had mixed reactions to the incident that appears to be part of an ugly gang war.

"It’s targeted," said an area resident walking to work. Like others the Free Press spoke to about the attack, he was afraid to have his name published. He said he isn’t concerned for his safety because of the gang war or the suspected firebombing along his route to work. "That doesn’t make it right, though."

A woman who works split shifts at two shops nearby said the heightened media attention to the violence has made her more wary, but that may not be a bad thing, she said. "People around here seem to have a sense of invulnerability."

Things will likely get worse, said two middle-aged men eating breakfast not far from 187 Ink.

"These are bad people," said one of the men. They have no concerns about innocent people getting hurt, he said. The concern is that the gang violence spills over to passersby and businesses nearby, added his friend.

"It’s what happens peripherally," said his friend.

With files from Kevin Rollason

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Reporter

Carol Sanders’ reporting on newcomers to Canada has made international headlines, earned national recognition but most importantly it’s shared the local stories of the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home.

Read full biography

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History

Updated on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 8:49 AM CDT: Updated

9:43 AM: Adds information on press conference.

11:04 AM: Adds video

11:59 AM: Adds comment from shop owner.

1:13 PM: Adds Google map

1:32 PM: Adds information from press conference

1:35 PM: Removed Google map.

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