Violence rattles, angers mayoral candidates

Mayoral candidates Sam Katz and Judy Wasylycia-Leis say they have been shaken by the weekend violence in Winnipeg that claimed two lives.

Mayoral candidates Sam Katz and Judy Wasylycia-Leis say they have been shaken by the weekend violence in Winnipeg that claimed two lives.

"I was outraged. I was extremely angry," Katz said about his reaction to the shootings in the North End.

Wasylycia-Leis says the North End will pull through and rally together to rid the neighbourhood of crime.

Two men were shot dead and a teenage girl critically injured after apparently random shootings within 35 minutes of each other on Saturday night.

"My heart goes out to the families," Katz said.

Helicopter could have helped: police chief

Training continues for police to get a helicopter in the air before the end of the year. Police chief Keith McCaskill said Oct. 14 that Winnipeggers would know within a couple of days exactly when the chopper would be up in the sky.

There's still been no word.

But at a press conference on Monday, McCaskill was asked what kind of impact a police helicopter might  have had on the events of Saturday night. He believes it would not only have not helped in the investigation, but could have prevented some of the violence.

"Could it have helped on the investigation? I think so. Could it have helped in stopping something? I think so as well," he said.

Meanwhile, Katz has reiterated his resolve to fighting crime if re-elected.

"I'm happy that I've made the commitment for police officers to walk the beat in areas that need it," he said. "And that [North End area is] a perfect example of where we need it."

If she becomes mayor, Wasylycia-Leis told CBC News she will meet with the chief of police, attorney general and criminal justice experts as soon as possible.

"And carve out a strategy, a proactive plan, with specific targets and timetables about how we move more police into this area," she said.

Winnipeggers go to the polls on Oct. 27.

Several surveys throughout the election campaign have put crime at the top of residents' concerns.

Kids head to schools

As children in the North End returned to school Monday staff have been advised to keep an eye out for students who might need counselling.

David Livingstone elementary school and R.B. Russell Vocational high school are both in the area where the teenage girl was injured. There has been no information released about where the girl lived or attended school.

Bev Wahl, the principal at R.B. Russell, is telling teachers and counsellors to watch the kids to see if there's anyone visibly upset.

Staff will try to "normalize" things as much as possible, she said, adding that children in the area see a lot of violence but that doesn't mean they aren't affected by it.

"I think they're expected to be mature way beyond their years and to understand situations that really, children should never be expected to understand," she said.