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This article was published 8/3/2019 (1050 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The parents of Jaime Adao, the teenager who was killed in what police say was a random home invasion likely fuelled by methamphetamine, are calling for justice as Winnipeg’s tight-knit Filipino community rallies around them.
Imelda Adao’s body convulsed with grief as tears streamed down her cheeks Friday night when she was told homicide investigators believe the man accused of killing her 17-year-old son was high on meth when he broke into their West End home Sunday evening.
"Oh God, I don’t know what to say. What’s happening to our community? What’s happening to our city? Why are these people allowed to roam around? Oh Jesus," Imelda said, standing beside her husband, Jaime Adao Sr.
"We need justice. That’s what we’re crying for: justice. Justice for Jimboy."
The couple was at a community gathering at Maples Collegiate Friday night, in which roughly 100 people, as well as a sizeable police contingent, came out to support the Adao family.
Copies of the latest edition of the Manitoba Filipino Journal were distributed. The front page carried a large school photo of Jaime emblazoned with the headline, Gone Too Soon.
Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth said the 29-year-old suspect, who was shot by officers as he attacked Jaime with a weapon, is expected to survive.
"To be clear on the suspect, he’s in hospital in critical condition. We haven’t even had an opportunity to speak with him yet. I can tell you he will be charged with murder. We just haven’t had an opportunity to formally do that," Smyth said.
"At this point I think he will (pull through). I don’t know for certain. I do know that he’s got some surgeries scheduled ahead of him."
Smyth said that while homicide investigators are waiting for the results of a toxicology report, signs point to the suspect being high on meth at the time of the vicious attack.
"Our early indications from our investigators is that he may have been using meth beforehand. We don’t know that for certain yet… But it looks like he may have been using meth," Smyth said.
"I thought it was fair to comment at least that much so it helps people square away such a senseless act. You can’t make sense of it otherwise."
Jaime was home with his grandmother on the night of March 3 when the suspect broke in and attacked him with a weapon.
The incident was recorded on a 911 call and operators heard the attack unfold from the time the intruder broke into the home on McGee Street to when officers arrived and at least one discharged their weapon.
WPS spokesman Const. Rob Carver said he was warned before listening to the audio recording and will forever be haunted by what he heard.
Imelda said Jaime’s grandmother is struggling to come to terms with the tragedy. She didn’t witness the attack, but she did discover Jaime’s bloodied body on the floor.
"She just saw Jimboy and the blood and was asking, ‘What happened to you Jimboy? What happened to you Jimboy? And there’s no answer. Jaime was full of blood," Imelda said.
"She’s still in trauma right now. That’s why we’re not able to bring her. She wants to come, but she’s also sick. We don’t want her to be in this kind of situation where she’ll hear so many things about her Jaime."
Imelda said she hasn’t seen her son’s body since his slaying, but she hoped she would finally get a chance to say goodbye to him this weekend.
Smyth declined to comment when asked what weapon was used to attack Jaime. Meanwhile, the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba, the provincial police watchdog, is probing the shooting of the suspect by police.
At Friday night’s event, Imelda hung her head in sorrow with her face pressed into a handkerchief as her husband addressed the crowd of supporters and community members.
"Where are we going to go now? It happened in our house, in our own house. It’s not safe anymore," he said.
"We need justice for my son. Not only for my son, but for everybody."
"Please, let’s unite. Let’s do something to stop this senseless fighting," Imelda added.
"We would just like to say thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This is very hard for us, but we have to face the reality that our son is in a better place now."
Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.