17-year-old arrested in connection to 7 firearms incidents: Police

Winnipeg police have arrested a 17-year-old male in connection to a series of firearms-related incidents over the past few weeks.

Police say they got the call Thursday morning at 4:48 a.m., when officers responded to the 500 block of Spence Street for a report of shots being fired.

When they arrived, police found the male suspect – wearing a balaclava – standing near the open rear door of a taxi cab parked in the middle of the road. The suspect refused to cooperate with police, and a Taser was used to subdue him.

Two firearms were seized from the back seat of the taxi, a sawed-off .22 calibre rifle, and an improvised firing device resembling a handgun. Ammunition was also seized.

Investigators found that a nearby home had been shot several times with someone inside who was known to the suspect. No one was injured.

The Major Crimes Unit is investigating. Police believe the suspect had been involved in several other firearm-related incidents over the past month, leading up to the shooting of the house on Spence Street.

First, on Sept. 29 around 3:30 a.m., a man in his 50s was shot and sprayed with bear spray after a group forced their way into a suite in the 400 block of Sherbrook Street. The victim was taken to hospital in critical condition and later upgraded to stable condition.

Later that same morning, around 4:34 a.m., a group forced their way into a residence in the first 100 block of Westgrove Way. A woman in her 30s had a firearm pointed at her, and a demand was made for her property. Bear spray was also discharged inside the house, affecting numerous people, including small children.

On Oct. 11 around 8:21 p.m., a man in his 20s was driving in the 600 block of Alfred Avenue when a nearby cyclist pulled out a sawed-off rifle and fired the weapon – hitting the front windshield of the occupied vehicle. The victim was not hurt.

Then, in the early morning hours of Oct. 18, 2022, at 3:20 a.m., a taxi cab driver in the 300 block of Mountain Avenue had a sawed-off rifle pointed at him, and a demand was made for his property. The driver tried to drive away, and a male suspect fired the rifle – striking the front passenger window and narrowly missing the driver.

On Oct.20, around 3:46 a.m., the door of an apartment suite in the 300 block of Mountain Avenue was shot several times. The suite was occupied at the time, but there were no reported injuries.

Later that morning at 4:26 a.m., a taxi cab driver picked up a fare in the 300 block of Mountain Avenue. As they drove away – the passenger produced a sawed-off rifle and fired it at a nearby apartment building.

A 17-year-old male faces numerous charges in connection to these incidents. All charges have yet to be proven in court.

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