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This article was published 25/10/2010 (3741 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG - Family members have identified two men killed by a masked gunman who also wounded a 13-year-old girl in north Winnipeg Saturday night.
Garden Hill First Nation Grand Chief David Harper is in shock after learning one of his relatives was one of three people randomly targeted by a masked shooter who drove around the North End on a bicycle.
Harper is related to Tommy Beardy, who was shot while standing outside of a Dufferin Avenue home and later died.
"I am saddened by the shooting incident and send my condolences to the families of the shooting victims, which included a member of my own family," Harper said in a written statement. He did not say how the two were related.
The other homicide victim was identified by family and friends as Ian MacDonald, 54. A family member said he was shot twice -- once in the heart -- after a gunman came to the door of their Boyd Avenue home.
A 13-year-old girl was also wounded by gunfire Saturday; she was standing with a large group of youths around Stella Walk when a stranger approached them, inquired if they wanted to buy marijuana, then opened fire, a 14-year-old friend of the victim told the Free Press on the weekend. The girl was struck, according to unofficial reports, by one pellet, in her hip.
'Together we can solve this': chief
Police narrowed down their description of the suspect they’re seeking in connection the three shootings, which occurred with a 35-minute period Saturday night.
Officers are looking for an aboriginal man in his late teens or early twenties, with a skinny build. He’s estimated to be about 6 feet in height.
Police have also now confirmed the man was believed to be on a mountain bike.
Police Chief Keith McCaskill said Monday, however he said he's confident investigators will locate the suspect.
"We have not linked the different locations together," McCaskill said at a press conference outside the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre on Robinson Street, though he added that the circumstances of the cases -- such as close geographic proximity and timing -- suggest they are connected and the same shooter is to blame.
"Those are things that we’re looking at. We’re keeping an open mind in the whole thing," he said.
McCaskill said police are deploying their street crimes and tactical support units, as well as the community support unit, to the North End. Police will also put a mobile command vehicle in the North End so officers can be based there and increase their street presence.
"It’s also to send a message to the people or person responsible for this that we’re going to do as much as we possibly can to bring them to custody," he said. Police will release updated information on the suspect later today, he said.
McCaskill also implored the public to share information with police that could lead to a break in the case.
"Together, we can solve this," he said.
Province offers additional resources
Attorney General Andrew Swan said Monday morning the provincial government will offer whatever support it can to help Winnipeg police catch the killer in this weekend’s slayings.
Swan said he’s spoken to Police Chief Keith McCaskill several times on the weekend to get updates on the case and has made sure the province’s victims services are helping the families of the two men killed and the young girl who was injured.
"If there’s additional officers to be deployed to deal with this, if there’s additional things that we can do help the police do their job, we will make sure that we have those resources there," Swan said.
"If there is going to be overtime, if there’s going to be additional things that the police believe that they need to do to do a full investigation and apprehend whoever is responsible, I wanted to make the chief very, very aware that the province stands with our police service."
Swan also said he had no criticism of the police service and the steps it took in the immediate aftermath of the shooting to urge residents in the North End to stay in their homes.
"The Winnipeg Police Service did make a very unusual suggestion to Winnipeggers, especially people in that area of the city. We certainly ask Winnipeggers to listen carefully to what the police service has to say and I think the police service has acted very appropriately in this case," Swan said.
Swan added RCMP as of yet are not assisting in the investigation other than through the province-wide Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or the the secure web link on the Manitoba Crime Stoppers site.