Family and friends of weekend homicide victim Rustom Vito Paclipan are shocked Winnipeg police cancelled a 911 call less than four minutes before the 23-year-old man was shot dead on Main Street.
The call was cancelled by someone internally at the Winnipeg Police Service.
Chief Devon Clunis on Tuesday ordered an investigation into why that happened and has put the staff involved on administrative leave.
Paclipan's friends told CBC News they believe if police responded to that first call, which came in at 1:39 a.m. on Sunday, the shooting outside Opera nightclub might have been prevented and Paclipan would be alive today.
"Everyone is upset. They just don't understand. They thought that the [911 call] would have been their number one priority. It was easy for the suspect to kill my friend Rustom because no one was there," said Paclipan's close friend Lucy Bouathong.
'The fact that cops just kind of blew off that call makes me think twice about my safety now' - Lucy Bouathong
"I know his friends were helping him. They were trying his hardest to keep him alive, doing CPR and whatnot, but the fact that cops just kind of blew off that call makes me think twice about my safety now."
For some reason, the 911 call for service at 1:39:36 — made by staff at Opera — was cancelled at 1:59:45 a.m. from within the 911 Communication Centre, Clunis said Tuesday.
At 2:03:13 a.m., another call came in, this time about a shooting at the same location. Police arrived at 2:06:04 a.m. and helped paramedics who were already there.
Paclipan was rushed to hospital, where he died of his injuries.
Some of Paclipan's friends have been taking to twitter with the hashtag #JusticeforRustom.
Vigil and prayers for Paclipan are scheduled for Thursday and Friday evening at Mosaic Funeral Chapel on Inkster Boulevard.
A mass will be held on Saturday at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church on Worth Street.
Calls for more cops
The shooting has renewed calls for increased police in the downtown at night.
Stefano Grande, executive director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, said security is a big issue and they're battling people's impressions of the downtown.
He called the shooting outside Opera an isolated incident but said it will only fuel the perception that downtown is unsafe.
Increased police foot patrols have helped improve the perception of safety during the day. Now Grande wants the same to be done for the night.
"Foot patrols are always a tool. It helps alleviate the perceptions and in some cases also alleviates some of the crime that is happening or might be happening," he said.
Grande said his group has been lobbying for years to have more police in the downtown, particularly at night.
"We've been on record for several years talking about the need for more foot patrols. We've seen government respond to that during the day and afternoons and we like to see progress continue in the evenings and early mornings," he said.Homicide Map Winnipeg Homicide Map