Winnipeg police say they believe a fatal shooting on Langside Street last week was a case of mistaken identity, with the victim being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Nigel Dixon, 20, was shot and killed in broad daylight on the 500 block of Langside, not far from the University of Winnipeg, on April 2.
Dixon and a woman were walking in the area at around 4 p.m. when a group of people approached them and accused them of being in a gang, according to police.
Const. Jason Michalyshen said the group peppered the pair with questions.
"The suspects were asking the victims, you know, 'Who do you run with or what gang may you be associated with?'' Michalyshen told reporters on Tuesday.
'There was no way he'd be involved in any kind of gang activity … he wasn't that kid.' —Crystal Poirier
Dixon and the woman denied any involvement in a gang and attempted to keep walking. The group followed and then shot both of the victims when they tried to flee, police said.
Both of the victims were rushed to hospital. Dixon later died, and the woman was injured.
No gang affiliations
Winnipeg police said they believe the fatal shooting was a case of mistaken identity, adding the victims were not affiliated with any gangs.
Crystal Poirier, program co-ordinator with the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, was a friend and mentor to Dixon for the past four years, helping him with his job skills.
"He was kind-hearted, he was quiet, he had a really big heart," she told CBC News late Tuesday.
Poirier said she couldn't believe it when she heard Dixon had died.
"There was no way he'd be involved in any kind of gang activity, any kind of street activity. Like, he wasn't that kid," she said.
Jamil Mahmood, executive director of the Spence Neighbourhood Association, said more needs to be done generally to address the city's gang problem.
"It's insane that a city like Winnipeg, that has a gang problem, has no gang exit program," he said.
Police say they believe there may have been people in the area at the time who witnessed the shooting.
Anyone with information is urged to contact homicide investigators at (204) 986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at (204) 786-8477.