One man is dead and another remains in hospital after being shot at a Winnipeg restaurant early Thursday morning.

The shooting happened just after 3 a.m. CT at a Salisbury House restaurant in the 700 block of Pembina Highway at Stafford Street.

Police say two men were shot, both hit in the upper body. One was rushed to hospital in critical condition but has died.

Police Chief Keith McCaskill said a gunman walked into the restaurant and took aim at the two men.

"He fired his weapon and struck the two individuals," he said.

"One person has passed away unfortunately and one is in stable condition in hospital. The initial stage of the investigation, it appears it is not random, it is targeted."

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Bullet holes can be seen in the large windows of the Salisbury House restaurant. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)

A few other people were in the restaurant at the time, but they were not hurt.

Police would not say if street gangs or drugs were involved in the shooting. A spokesperson said the shooting poses no threat to public safety, given it was a targeted incident.

But Michael Weinrath, a criminology professor at the University of Winnipeg, says the public nature of the shooting is upsetting a lot of people for good reason.

"When we have a homicide that takes place in public, in an area that could be frequented by anyone … it kind of shakes people to the core," he said.

"It's a pretty high-risk venture, but we see that when we see young people involved with gangs: young people who want to move up in the hierarchy — they want to make more money in the drug trade — and violence, and the willingness to use lethal violence.

Eatery remains closed

The Salisbury House restaurant in question remained closed on Thursday afternoon as police remain on the scene.

Brad Kramble, vice president of operations for Salisbury House, said staff members are traumatized by what happened and are being offered counselling.

As many as seven bullet holes can be seen in the front windows of the restaurant.

Police have no one in custody and are searching the area.

There were three distinct investigation scenes:

  • Salisbury House restaurant at Pembina and Stafford.
  • Gun located at Hector Avenue and Stafford.
  • Clothing near Grant Avenue and Stafford.

Due to the extensive crime scene, Stafford Street was closed for many blocks from Pembina to Grant Avenue.

The investigation also forced Winnipeg Transit to  detour buses on parts of nine routes for part of the morning but everything is flowing as usual now.

The police tape was removed from the streets just before 9 a.m.

Nearby, Harrow Elementary School was open for class on Thursday, even with the heavy police presence in the neighbourhood.


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