August 15, 2020

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Second teen suspect charged in series of shootings

A vigil for 27-year-old Danielle Cote drew more than 40 supporters July 3 to the 400 block of Flora Avenue, where the mother of four was shot and killed two days earlier. The Winnipeg Police Service announced Saturday a second teen suspect has been charged with first-degree murder in Cote's death. Two boys, 14 and 15 years old, have now been charged in the homicide as well as in a series of other shootings that happened July 1 and 2 in Winnipeg. </p><p>(Jesse Boily/Winnipeg Free Press)</p>

A vigil for 27-year-old Danielle Cote drew more than 40 supporters July 3 to the 400 block of Flora Avenue, where the mother of four was shot and killed two days earlier. The Winnipeg Police Service announced Saturday a second teen suspect has been charged with first-degree murder in Cote's death. Two boys, 14 and 15 years old, have now been charged in the homicide as well as in a series of other shootings that happened July 1 and 2 in Winnipeg.

(Jesse Boily/Winnipeg Free Press)

A 15-year-old male has now been charged for his alleged involvement in three shootings, one of them fatal, that happened in the span of slightly more than 24 hours earlier this week.

He is co-accused with a 14-year-old male who was charged Friday. Police believe the two teens were acquaintances who were together during three shootings on July 1 and 2 that killed a 27-year-old woman and injured three others. Police have said they don't believe the victims knew the suspects, and investigators haven't released any information about what the shooters' motives were.

"It’s still immediately unclear what prompted these incidents," Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Jay Murray told reporters during a news conference Saturday.

The 14-year-old suspect alone is charged in a fourth shooting that happened July 1 between 2:30 a.m. and 3:15 a.m. in the 100 block of Isabel Street. A 17-year-old girl has been identified as the victim in that shooting, the Winnipeg Police Service announced Saturday.

The 15-year-old male was arrested around 2:50 p.m. July 3 while he was at a residence on Dufferin Avenue. He remains in custody and is charged with first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault, discharging a firearm with intent, and two counts of failing to comply with court conditions.

His arrest comes after the 14-year-old boy was arrested Thursday at a home in North Kildonan.

Neither of the teen suspects can be identified publicly because of provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

At Saturday's news conference, Murray was asked if the shootings were related to a gang initation. Police have not said whether the teen suspects were involved with gangs.

"I don’t have the answer to that and it would form part of the investigation still moving forward. Again, even though we’ve taken two people in custody and I can acknowledge that those are the two we are looking for, we don’t anticipate any more arrests directly related to the shootings. There could be other arrests related to the investigation or charges laid, but there is still work to be done on this matter," Murray said.

The shootings started around 2:30 a.m. July 1, when an injured 44-year-old man was found on Balmoral Street near Cumberland Avenue, after being hit by a vehicle. Police later learned the man had been shot before he was hit by the car. He was taken to hospital in critical but stable condition.

Within the next 45 minutes, a 17-year-old girl and an unidentified male were shot at in the 100 block of Isabel Street, and they ran away without initially reporting the shooting to police.

At 3:15 a.m., two people were shot while walking in the 400 block of Flora Avenue, about two kilometres north of where the first victim was found. Danielle Dawn Cote, 27, died of her injuries. The 18-year-old man she was walking with, her cousin, has been hospitalized.

Early the next day, around 12:30 a.m., a 40-year-old man was shot at The Forks, in a popular spot near the illuminated Winnipeg sign and stage that typically plays host to the city's Canada Day celebrations. Another man was stabbed at the same time; both victims sought help and the 40-year-old man was hospitalized in stable condition.

On Friday night, more than 40 people gathered in the 400 block of Flora Avenue where Cote was shot dead. They remembered her as a beautiful person who had been struggling with the death of her father in the past year. Her mother, Julie Black, said when she learned a 14-year-old had been charged in her daughter's homicide, "it totally flipped my script."

"I want to say to the family of the young male: I forgive him... and I will pray for him, too," Black said Friday.

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History

Updated on Saturday, July 4, 2020 at 3:12 PM CDT: Updated to include quotes from police news conference; adds photo.

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