September 21, 2017

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Man killed by police was carrying a gun: witness

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Police presence remained heavy in the area Wednesday. Police vehicles were parked in the middle of Alfred, while crime scene tape cordoned off several locations. </p>

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Police presence remained heavy in the area Wednesday. Police vehicles were parked in the middle of Alfred, while crime scene tape cordoned off several locations.

A 23-year-old man shot dead by police early Wednesday was seen hours earlier wielding a gun as he embarked on a string of violent incidents that included attacking a woman, stealing a vehicle and robbing a business.

"I don't know much about guns but it was in his hand and it had a long barrel," a witness who saw the man told the Free Press.

Adrian Lacquette was killed after a crime spree that began about 8 p.m. and ended shortly after midnight when he was shot by police in the 400 block of Alfred Avenue.

"...While there was a fatality, none of our officers or area residents were injured," police spokesman Const. Jay Murray said at a news conference.

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A 23-year-old man shot dead by police early Wednesday was seen hours earlier wielding a gun as he embarked on a string of violent incidents that included attacking a woman, stealing a vehicle and robbing a business.

"I don't know much about guns but it was in his hand and it had a long barrel," a witness who saw the man told the Free Press.

Adrian Lacquette was killed after a crime spree that began about 8 p.m. and ended shortly after midnight when he was shot by police in the 400 block of Alfred Avenue.

"...While there was a fatality, none of our officers or area residents were injured," police spokesman Const. Jay Murray said at a news conference.

He said police initially got involved with a report of a woman attacked by a man with a gun. That was followed by a carjacking involving another woman and then an armed robbery at a Notre Dame Avenue business. The stolen vehicle was later spotted by the police helicopter, Air1, which tracked it to the Alfred Avenue location where the shooting occurred.

Argument escalated to screams for help

Police say Lacquette was known to them. Court records show that, in 2013, he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and served two months. Shortly after, he was sentenced to 28 months behind bars on another unspecified offence that involved weapons. He was placed on a lifetime weapons prohibition. There were no outstanding charges against him at the time of his death.

Lacquette was identified as the shooting victim by a witness who was shown Lacquette's picture by a reporter.

The witness said he saw the chain of events begin when Lacquette rode a bicycle to a house in the 800 block of Pritchard Avenue shortly after 8 p.m. He said Lacquette held a gun.

"I don't know much about guns but it was in his hand and it had a long barrel." -Witness, describing weapon held by suspect

Lacquette headed straight to a second-storey suite at the house and, for several hours afterward, neighbours heard yelling they said sounded like a lover's quarrel.

At about 11 p.m., the yelling turned into a woman's screams for help. That was followed by a chaotic rush of events that ended in a 911 call a little after 11 p.m.

"We called the cops, they came and he ran away. He left," said the witness, who asked not to be identified because he feared retaliation.

In the interval before officers arrived, the man was banging on neighbours' doors, demanding someone, anyone "give" him a car, and yelling for people to throw out their car keys. Nobody opened their door but he managed to corner one area resident outside and grabbed the surprised victim by the arm, but only briefly.

The witness then saw Lacquette standing alone between a couple of homes in an alleyway. He looked confused and he was holding the gun.

"It was in his hand, and he was standing there, kind of panicked, like he was looking for something," the witness recounted. In the end, Lacquette fled on the bicycle he arrived and apparently continued a string of violent incidents in other areas, ending with the shooting by police on Alfred Avenue.

Provincial watchdog investigating

The shooting death is being investigated by the provincial watchdog for police, the Independent Investigations Unit.

Murray, the police spokesman, said the work of speciality units including tactical officers and the police helicopter helped protect the public.

"These units allowed us to mitigate this critical situation," Murray said.

FACEBOOK</p><p>Adrian Lacquette</p>

FACEBOOK

Adrian Lacquette

No information was released on how many officers were involved.

"There's not a lot I can say because this incident is under investigation by the IIU," Murray said.

There were multiple road closures in the area Wednesday morning, including Alfred Avenue between Burrows and Andrews streets and Powers Street between Aberdeen and Burrows avenues.

Police presence remained heavy in the area Wednesday. Police vehicles were parked in the middle of Alfred, while crime scene tape cordoned off several locations.

 People trying to get to work and take their kids to school Wednesday morning had to avoid the area.

One neighbour approached journalists standing outside the police tape to ask what happened. He said he had to walk his kids to school in the area. The dad, who did not identify himself, seemed unfazed by the heavy police presence on the street.

 "It's not uncommon," he said.

— with files from Carol Sanders, and Kevin Rollason

alexandra.paul@freepress.mb.ca 

Read more by Alexandra Paul.

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History

Updated on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 8:01 AM CDT: Adds photo, corrects reference to Alfred Avenue

8:17 AM: Adds photo, updates with more info

8:43 AM: Updates with local reaction

11:32 AM: Adds information from police.

11:45 AM: Adds timeline.

12:53 PM: Updated, photo added.

3:10 PM: Turns off comments.

4:48 PM: Updated, photo added.

5:39 PM: Adds comment from witness

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