February 23, 2019

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Gunmen killed each other: police

Two members of same gang simultaneously fired weapons at Main Street eatery

The two men who were killed in a double homicide at a Main Street restaurant this week “simultaneously” shot one another in an inter-gang dispute, Winnipeg police said.

Anthony Brian Cromastey, 30, and Rodney Albert Kirton, 25 — reportedly members of the same local street gang — pulled out guns in Johnny G’s restaurant at 172 Main St. around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“The two individuals are basically in a gunfight in a public restaurant, and killed each other on the spot,” Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Rob Carver said Friday.

Carver declined to say what street gang the men belonged to, citing a desire not to give a criminal organization publicity. He said a melee where two individuals fatally shoot one another at the same moment is almost unheard of.

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The two men who were killed in a double homicide at a Main Street restaurant this week "simultaneously" shot one another in an inter-gang dispute, Winnipeg police said.

Anthony Brian Cromastey, 30, and Rodney Albert Kirton, 25 — reportedly members of the same local street gang — pulled out guns in Johnny G’s restaurant at 172 Main St. around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

FACEBOOK</p><p>Anthony Brian Cromastey </p>

FACEBOOK

Anthony Brian Cromastey

"The two individuals are basically in a gunfight in a public restaurant, and killed each other on the spot," Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Rob Carver said Friday.

Carver declined to say what street gang the men belonged to, citing a desire not to give a criminal organization publicity. He said a melee where two individuals fatally shoot one another at the same moment is almost unheard of.

"In Canada, I’m not aware of it ever having happened. We did a bit of research. It looks like it has happened in the (United States) once or twice," Carver said. "But once or twice in the U.S., based on how many shootings there are, is incredibly rare. As far as I can see, it’s never happened in Canada."

The deaths were the fourth and fifth homicides in Winnipeg in 2019. Four of the five slayings have been the result of gun violence.

Police believe both guns can be traced to the black market and had not been legally owned. Court records show Kirton was subject to a lifetime weapons ban, stemming from a past criminal conviction.

Braedon Lee Gordon, 18 — who police said is also a member of the same street gang — has been charged with assault causing bodily harm in connection with the incident.

Video surveillance from inside the restaurant reportedly shows Gordon — who entered the diner with Cromastey — assaulting Kirton after he was shot. He was arrested at the scene and has been detained in custody.

A Johnny G’s waitress suffered a "non-life-threatening" wound during the shootout, caused by a bullet ricochet, police said.

While police declined to elaborate, restaurant owner Johnny Giannakis told the Free Press Thursday the waitress was hit in the foot while hiding behind the bar. She received stitches and was released from the hospital.

Carver said investigators were surprised there were no additional fatalities or injuries.

"There were numerous shots fired... a significant number, more than eight," he said.

The Johnny G’s location on Main Street — which was one of a few downtown spots that stayed open as late as 4 a.m. — was the site of a fatal gang-related shooting six years ago.

On Feb. 15, 2013, Dylan Chatkana, a 15-year-old member of the Mad Cowz street gang, walked into the restaurant and opened fire in a targeted hit.

The first bullet narrowly missed a waitress, and the second fatally pierced the neck of 24-year-old William Edward Moar, a member of the rival B-Side gang. Chatkana was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for seven years.

At a news conference Friday, Carver said there was nothing restaurant ownership or staff could have done to prevent the latest double homicide.

"Criminals don’t like the light of day. They’d rather be out in the evening. So I don’t think it’s a comment on the restaurant. I think it’s a comment on any place that’s open at 1:30 or 2 o’clock in the morning," Carver said. "You might find yourself sitting next to some gang members in a booth. That’s the nature of every big city, including ours."

ryan.thorpe@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @rk_thorpe

Ryan Thorpe

Ryan Thorpe
Reporter

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.

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History

Updated on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 8:17 AM CST: Final

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