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This article was published 23/10/2010 (3742 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG — As police hunted for the suspect who shot three people in the North End, residents were wary of speaking about the mayhem that rocked their neighbourhood on Saturday night.
Two men were shot dead. A 13-year-old girl was seriously wounded and remained in hospital.
All victims were shot in the upper body during a 45-minute period.
The shootings took place in the 200 block of Stella Walk, 400 block of Dufferin Avenue and the 400 block of Boyd Avenue, police said.
Spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen said officers were awaiting ballistics tests to see if the same firearm was used in all three shootings.
"We have no motive," he said. "They do appear random."
On Sunday morning, some North End residents opened their doors only partway and delivered hurried witness reports in quiet whispers and anxious tones. Others said it wasn’t worth their safety to say a single word. Others seemed to ignore the warning to stay put. Children played on the street without an adult in sight.
The impression people left no matter what they said or didn’t say was: Violence is common here. Gangs operate out in the open. Survival hinges on keeping quiet and looking quiet.
"It’s rough," said one man, pointing to a murder scene last year that was two doors down from the latest Dufferin Avenue homicide. "It seems to be a weekly event, something like this goes on," said the man before he shut his door.
At 261 Stella Walk, most residents, even the ones willing to admit they’d heard the shoots or witnessed the shooting, said they were afraid to be identified.
A woman said she was spooked by the gunman’s calm manner. She saw him trailing a group of teens before he fired into their midst and retrieved a bicycle he’d left nearby in no apparent hurry.
"I don’t even want to sit outside to smoke," she said.
In the North End, many residents learn to live with violence because they can’t afford to move. No renters interviewed Sunday on Dufferin and Boyd planned to leave their residences. Rents are cheap, they said.
Homeowners said selling their houses isn’t an option, either. "What are we going to do? I’ve been here 40 years. It wasn’t this bad when we moved here but now it’s crazy," one elderly man said.
Colleen Hobbs said she and her husband have lived in the same house in the 400 block of Boyd for 11 years.
They share a sense of security others might not enjoy: "I’ve got three vicious dogs. Nobody bothers me here," Hobbs said.
By Sunday night, police had not recovered a weapon. they asked anyone with information to call them at 986-6508, or 786-8477 (TIPS).
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.