A 29-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with a random home invasion in which a high school student was slain, a crime police said was believed to be fuelled by methamphetamine.
Police said Sunday that Ronald Bruce Chubb was charged in the killing of 17-year-old Jaime (Jimboy) Adao at his home on the 700 block of McGee Street on March 3.
Chubb is also charged with attempted murder and failure to comply with probation. He was detained in custody.
The suspect had been in hospital suffering from gunshot wounds. No charge could be laid until he had been questioned by police.
There was no immediate reaction from the Adao family Sunday. No one answered the door when a reporter went to their home.
When asked about her reaction to a murder charge being laid, a neighbour said she’s "torn."
Rowena Catacudan and her husband live across the street from the Adao home and when the family is out, she keeps an eye on the house.
The slaying shook the Catacudans to their core; the couple is originally from the Philippines, as are the Adaos.
And like the Adaos, the Catacudans have lived on McGee for years, raising a family with three boys, including one around the age of Jaime.
"At first I was angry because of what happened. He was killed in the house, where you’re supposed to be safe?… (It meant) we’re not safe in our own homes and I have a family of my own," Catacudan said.
She said she learned more about the accused and now she worries about the effect of mental illness and the city’s meth crisis.
"I realized the other guy, he’s a victim of the system. And the drugs, they’re all over… I’m hoping it creates an awareness and they do something about the drugs," Catacudan said.
Court records show Chubb, who has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, has a lengthy history of theft and break-and-enter convictions and has been in and out of jail.
In August 2018, seven months before Adao’s slaying, Chubb admitted to assaulting a police officer at a time he was wanted for violating his probation, the final portion of one of the many jail sentences he has served. He was sentenced to an additional seven months.
In January and February, he was charged with breaching his probation.
Chubb was born in God’s Lake First Nation and moved to Winnipeg with his mother when he was nine. Shortly after, he was taken into the custody of Child and Family Services due to his mother’s alcoholism.
When he was 13, he saw his 15-year-old brother, John Chubb, beaten to death with a baseball bat in the city’s West End.
During the home invasion, which took place around 9 p.m. on a Sunday, Adao told the 911 operator that his grandmother was also in the home.
The incident was recorded in the 911 call and operators heard the attack unfold from the time the intruder broke into the home to when officers arrived and at least one officer discharged their weapon.
"General patrol officers arrived within minutes and entered the home where they located a 17-year-old being assaulted by an intruder with a weapon. In order to stop the threat, officers discharged their firearm striking the attacker," the police said in a news release issued after the attack.
Both men were taken to hospital in critical condition. Adao died a short time later.
Police have not said what type of weapon was used in the attack.
Adao, who was a culinary arts student at Technical Vocational High School, worked at his parents’ business, Jimel’s Bakery, on McDermot Avenue. He hoped to attend Red River College and become an executive chef.
The tragedy touched the lives of his fellow students, neighbourhood residents, the Filipino community and the city as a whole.
At a March 8 forum at Maples Collegiate, police Chief Danny Smyth consoled Jaime’s parents, Imelda and Jaime Adao Sr., as Filipino community members gathered to hear about protecting themselves from crime while the city struggles with a meth crisis. The forum was attended by about 100 people and a large contingent of police officers.
Through tears, Imelda Adao pleaded for justice for her slain son.
"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.
"We need justice. That’s what we’re crying for: justice. Justice for Jimboy."
Earlier, the police chief had said that while homicide investigators were waiting for the results of a toxicology test, signs pointed to the suspect being high on meth at the time of the killing.
"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."
The Filipino community shared their grief on social media, calling the teenager well-liked.
A GoFundMe page raised $10,000 for the parents and to start a baking class in memory of the teen.
"We know that baking is very close to his heart and he has so much love and passion for it," said the fundraising page.
"It was so unfortunate that a very innocent, God-fearing, loving, sweet, respectful kid, a very kind 17-year-old boy, full of life, with wonderful vision and dreams will suddenly, brutally die (by) someone’s hand.
"His life was taken just like that."
The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba is looking into the police shooting of the suspect.
Alexandra is a veteran news reporter who has covered stories for the Winnipeg Free Press since 1987. She held the medical beat for nearly 17 years, and today specializes in coverage of Indigenous-related issues. She is among the most versatile journalists on the paper’s staff.
Updated on Sunday, March 17, 2019 at 1:48 PM CDT: adds background
3:22 PM: adds details
5:03 PM: adds neighbour's reaction
12:54 AM: Edited