Winnipeg police investigating ‘exceptionally troubling’ homicide of 12-year-old boy

The Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) says it is investigating an “exceptionally troubling” stabbing death of a 12-year-old boy.

The force says officers, tactical support and a K9 unit were sent to the 200 block of Burrows Avenue at 7:19 p.m. Friday for a report a male had been stabbed.

Read more: Winnipeg woman, 38, arrested in city’s 17th homicide of the year

Police located a “seriously injured” boy and were assisted by an off-duty nurse who was nearby until he could be brought to hospital where he died of his injuries.

“A lot of people are going to be searching for answers. Our investigators are in the pursuit of those answers, they’re in the pursuit of justice, and we feel confident we’ll be able to provide that at some point,” said WPS spokesperson Jay Murray during a Saturday morning press conference.

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Murray added he wasn’t able to provide many details about the victim, or the exact circumstances of the incident, other than to say the teen was stabbed during an altercation between two groups, who investigators believe may not have known each other prior to the stabbing.

“He was part of one of the groups … I can’t find a word to accurately describe this. There are a number of details that are particularly troubling; details that we may be able to share when charges are laid,” Murray continued.

Read more: Winnipeg man charged in stabbing death of brother, say police

He says police have made “significant” progress in the investigation, but there are likely still witnesses who have yet to come forward.

Homicides involving youths are relatively rare, Murray says, yet take a significant toll on first responders.

“I think it’s extremely tough, a lot of the people that help in these cases are parents themselves, maybe parents with children that age, and it’s exceptionally tough to deal with these types of incidents,” Murray said.

Adding to the tragedy, Murray pointed out Friday’s incident was the eleventh homicide in the past 31 days, and the fourth in just five days.

“Whether it’s our homicide unit, our forensic identification section members, or the front-line officers that respond to these calls in the first place, these are incredibly taxing events for the Winnipeg Police Service,” Murray said.

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Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Homicide Unit at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).

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