One of the men charged with first-degree murder in a fatal shooting on Burrows Avenue was under a 10-year weapons prohibition, after he was convicted of illegally keeping a black SKS rifle and ammunition in his Redwood Avenue home.
Brandon David Thomas Richard, 28, of St. Norbert, died April 12, after he was dropped off at a city hospital suffering from a gunshot wound.
Winnipeg Police Service officers were called after the man was admitted around 4 a.m. in critical condition. The major crimes unit took over the investigation and found a crime scene on the 1600 block of Burrows Avenue.
On May 20, homicide detectives charged Mario Nippi and Fransisco Flett, both 23 of Winnipeg, with first-degree murder, among weapons charges, court breaches and drug offences. Both remain in custody and had a bail court appearance Wednesday.
Nippis record includes a 2020 conviction for possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. In St. Theresa Point circuit court, he was given what amounted to an 18-month sentence for the August 2018 offence.
In Winnipeg, an apparent dispute over a woman that led to his home being shot up twice in September 2019 later concluded with numerous weapons charges. All of which but one possession of a firearm without a licence were stayed.
Nippi was given 691 days going forward for the charge, plus 60 days concurrent for a court breach, as well as the 10-year weapons prohibition, at a Nov. 27, 2020, sentencing hearing in Winnipeg.
In the early morning of Sept. 28, 2019, the WPS received three 911 calls about shots fired on the 600 block of Redwood Avenue. One of the callers said the gunfire was directed at a party house, which had been shot at just days prior, court heard.
When police arrived, they found evidence of the two shootings and entered the house. On the second floor, the officers found the SKS rifle with its serial number removed, along with compatible ammunition and a loaded magazine.
Police later came back with a warrant to fully search the home, which was leased to Nippi and his mother. Police got a warrant for his arrest on weapons charges days later.
On Nov. 7, 2019, Nippi was found after fleeing from the window of an Elgin Avenue trap house, along with known gang members, court heard.
His defence lawyer pointed out during the sentencing hearing there was no evidence Nippi himself was a gang member, rather that he knew gang members.
Court heard he had been lent the 7.62 calibre SKS rifle, as he feared for his safety after the first shooting by unknown assailants at the Redwood home prior to Sept. 28 which his lawyer said was the result of an issue Nippi had with a woman, rather than a criminal dispute.
He hadnt reported the first shooting to police.
After the second shooting incident, he left the Redwood house and was couch surfing, as he feared he would be hurt, Nippi told police.
On March 12, 2019, Flett was granted a stay of proceedings, along with forfeiture of the substance, on a charge of possession of a scheduled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.