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Police mum on double homicide at Johnny G's

Mikaela Mackenzie / Winnipeg Free Press</p><p>The double homicide was the second fatal shooting in six years at the Main Street restaurant. </p>

Mikaela Mackenzie / Winnipeg Free Press

The double homicide was the second fatal shooting in six years at the Main Street restaurant.

Gunshots pierced the air inside a popular Main Street restaurant early Wednesday, leaving two men dead and police investigating the second fatal shooting at the late-night eatery in the past six years.

Police were tight-lipped about details of the dramatic double homicide at Johnny G’s at 172 Main St., declining to say whether suspects were in custody or if the fatal shooting – like the previous one at the location – is gang-related.

The Winnipeg Police Service said it had identified the two victims, but did not release their names Wednesday because officers had yet to finish notifying family members.

Const. Rob Carver said the force is not looking for “further suspects,” but declined to comment when asked if any arrests had been made.

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Gunshots pierced the air inside a popular Main Street restaurant early Wednesday, leaving two men dead and police investigating the second fatal shooting at the late-night eatery in the past six years.

Police were tight-lipped about details of the dramatic double homicide at Johnny G’s at 172 Main St., declining to say whether suspects were in custody or if the fatal shooting – like the previous one at the location – is gang-related.

The Winnipeg Police Service said it had identified the two victims, but did not release their names Wednesday because officers had yet to finish notifying family members.

Const. Rob Carver said the force is not looking for "further suspects," but declined to comment when asked if any arrests had been made.

"We are still looking to talk to some people, but I don’t believe they’re going to be termed 'suspects.' I think you’re safe saying we’re not looking for further suspects," Carver said.

Reports of the shooting flooded into the WPS call centre around 1:30 a.m. The eatery – like its sister restaurant in the Exchange District – is one of few downtown that's open until 4 a.m.

Shortly after, dozens of police cruisers, ambulances and fire trucks flooded the area and the sound of sirens cut through the air. Upon entering the restaurant, officers found two men suffering from "serious gunshot wounds." They were taken to hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

A female employee also suffered "minor, unrelated" injuries during the shooting. She was treated and released.

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 for the slaying and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for seven years.

Despite the deadly history of the Main Street restaurant, Carver urged people not to take a negative view of the owner, Johnny Giannakis, or his business practices.

"We understand that there was another incident back in 2013. The reality is it’s not the location or the business, it’s the type of business," Carver said.

"It’s not a comment on their restaurant. It’s a comment on the hour and the fact that post-bar crowds can bring in people who may have criminal backgrounds. I would hate for someone to make conclusions that this is a problem spot for police, because that’s not how we’re looking at it."

Officers from the identification unit could be seen Wednesday working inside the restaurant as yellow police tape cordoned off the entrance.

Johnny G’s announced on social media its Main Street location would be closed until further notice. Its McDermot Avenue location will close at 1:30 a.m., rather than 4 a.m.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPAshleyPrest

ryan.thorpe@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @rk_thorpe

Ashley Prest

Ashley Prest
Reporter

Ashley works the general assignment beat.

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Ryan Thorpe

Ryan Thorpe
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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 Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 12:15 PM CST: Updates

5:30 PM: Full write through

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