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This article was published 4/3/2019 (330 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The tight-knit family of Jaime Adao — a 17-year-old youth killed in a home invasion Sunday in Winnipeg’s West End — are struggling to come to terms with the senseless and violent end for their loved one.
Roxy Roy, a cousin who affectionately referred to Jaime as her nephew, said he was a kind and respectful young man with a strong faith in God, who planned to follow in his parents’ footsteps and take over the family food service business.
One day after the violent attack which took Jaime’s life, Roy said she gathered with his parents and grandmother to cry, pray and flip through family photos.
"I don’t want to accept the fact this happened. I feel so empty. When I heard, I just cried. I cried to the point I got sick. I still haven’t been able to eat. I can’t swallow the news right now. I can’t believe this is real. I just want this to be a dream," Roy said, between tears.
"He will never be forgotten. He will always be loved. His parents want people to know what kind of a person Jaime is."
The home invasion that took Jaime’s life was captured on a 911 call. While that call lasted just four minutes, the sounds of the homicide will forever haunt the minds of the emergency officials who heard the chilling recording.
"I’ve been doing this for a number of years and there are few days I don’t want to come in — this would be one of those mornings. The incident has affected not only the family, but also our entire service," Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Rob Carver said Monday.
"Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family for this tragic and senseless homicide."
Jaime’s alleged killer — whose name has not been released, but who was said to be previously known to police — is in hospital in critical condition. One or more Winnipeg police officers reportedly shot the suspect to put an end to the attack, which is believed to have been random in nature.
Police said Jaime and his grandmother were alone in the family home on the 700 block of McGee Street, when the teen called 911 to report someone was trying to break in. Moments later, Jaime told the 911 operator a man had entered the house.
Two officers arrived at the home about four minutes after the 911 call started, Carver said. They entered the residence and found the teen being attacked by a man armed with an unspecified weapon.
Prior to listening to the 911 recording — which documented the attack and continued until officers arrived on scene and at least one opened fire — Carver said he was warned he would "never unhear it."
"I will never get over it," he said. "It will sit with me forever."
Tyrelle Piche, who lives across the street, said Monday he saw the alleged attacker attempting to break into the home, although he wasn’t able to provide a description, as he only got a brief glimpse of the man. Shortly after, he saw police arrive.
"Two policemen jumped out of the vehicle and they ran and jumped over the neighbour’s fence. They went into the back. A couple of seconds later, two other police cars pulled out," Piche said.
"It was all really fast. Paramedics came and then I saw two people get pulled out on stretchers. When I found out later he’d been killed, I just thought: why would you do that to a person? Damn, that’s not right."
Jaime’s grandmother was not injured.
Roy said the family gathered Monday to try to draw strength from one another during this difficult time. She said people had organized a vigil outside the home Monday night, although the family did not feel able to attend.
"They’re devastated. They’re heartbroken. We’re just trying to come together as a family. We’re going through memories, talking about memories with him, looking at pictures. There is not a bad memory with him at all — everything is happy," Roy said.
"We’ve just been praying. We just want justice for my nephew. We’re super angry at this person. How selfish of him. He should have just let my nephew live."
Zane Tessler, civilian director of the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba, said the organization will probe the discharging of service weapons. Meanwhile, Winnipeg police continue to investigate the homicide.
Police cruisers were parked on McGee Street, and in the back lane behind the home, to protect the scene Monday. The incident marks the fourth officer-involved shooting in Winnipeg in 2019.
Jim and Imelda Adao own two bakeries in Winnipeg, both called Jimel’s Bakery, one of which is located not far from the family home. Through Roy, they asked for privacy until they feel ready to speak about their son’s death.
"He was just an innocent little boy that had his life ahead of him... He was supposed to graduate this year. He hasn’t even turned 18 yet," said Roy, audibly upset.
"I just hope that man rots in hell and pays for he’s done."
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.
Updated on Monday, March 4, 2019 at 12:27 PM CST: Adds map
12:50 PM: Writethrough
3:15 PM: minor edits
8:45 PM: Adds vigil photos.
March 5, 2019 at 12:47 PM: Updates