Three teenage boys were stabbed Tuesday night in a grocery store melee, just steps away from where several people were assaulted during a November rampage which resulted in changes to Liquor Mart entrances.
Winnipeg police said two 16-year-old males suffering stab wounds were rushed to hospital from the Safeway at the Tyndall Market mall in critical condition. They have since been upgraded to stable.
Police said Wednesday another 16-year-old boy, who was also stabbed, was able to get to a hospital on his own. He was listed in stable condition.
Police believe multiple people got into a fight at the grocery store’s entrance just prior to 7 p.m., with pepper spray also being used in the melee.
Ranjit Singh, who works at a travel agency in the Keewatin Street shopping centre, said he had heard about the pepper spray — but not the stabbings.
"I’m really shocked three people were stabbed," Singh said. "(After the Liquor Mart incident last year) lots of customers asked if things like that happen in this mall, and we said: ‘No. It was quiet here. We were happy.’
"I hope nothing happens anymore. We pray for them."
In November, three Liquor Mart employees — including one who was knocked unconscious and suffered a head injury — and at least three other women in the mall were assaulted by three teens after an alleged robbery turned violent.
The incidents were so shocking, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corp. announced the next day it would begin fortifying all Winnipeg outlets with new security measures, including locked, controlled entrances and photo identification requirements.
Two stores have since been renovated, including the Tyndall Park location.
Meanwhile, a woman who said she has shopped at the Safeway in the mall for more than 30 years said the area has been getting worse.
"You’re always seeing somebody sketchy and security watching them," she said Wednesday, asking her name not be used. "I’m surprised there isn’t even more security here. It’s just too bad."
Another woman, who wished to only be identified by her first name, Caly, said: "I wasn’t surprised about the Liquor Mart, but I am surprised about Safeway... It is scary."
Megan Buston, an external communications specialist with Sobeys (Safeway and Sobeys are owned by Empire Co.), would only say Wednesday: "Law enforcement is actively investigating, and we are and will continue to be supportive and co-operative of their efforts."
City police are asking anyone with information to contact major crimes investigators at 204-986-6219.
Updated on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 11:54 PM CST: Adds photo, updates story.