Woman found dead in Saskatoon after gunshots heard

A woman was found dead in the 100 block of 25th Street West after gun shots rang out in the neighbourhood just after midnight CST.

Tenants say apartment building has troubled history of drugs and violence

RAW: Police cars outside the scene of last night's shooting in Saskatoon. 0:37

A woman was found dead on the steps of an apartment building at 110 25th Street West after gun shots rang out in the neighbourhood just after midnight CST.  

Police are on the scene after a woman was found dead. (CBC)
Witnesses report hearing at least two shots.

Raylene Roy-McLeod, of Regina, was visiting her mother, who lives in the building. She was the only person in the suite still awake to hear anything.

"I heard my mom's buzzer go off, like just a small little buzz," Roy-McLeod said. "And then all of the sudden I heard people running in the halls and then two gunshots."

The fatal shooting triggered an immediate and heavy police response. Tenants tell CBC that police are called frequently to deal with drug and alcohol issues in the three-storey building.

On May 4 police, including the emergency response team, blocked off traffic around the building. They arrested a man and a woman on firearms and drug charges, including possession of methamphetamine.

"I don't think my family will let me go back in there 'cause it's so frightening for my two little kids,'" said Lori McLeod, Roy-McLeod's mother.

Suite by suite sweep

Sewchurn Ramcharun moved to Saskatoon from Quebec last year to work as a welder. He and his wife and three-month-old daughter are moving at the end of this month.

"I have seen lots going here, lots of police calls," he said.

Police at murder scene. (CBC)
"Fighting, broken glass. I suspect drugs."

As daylight broke, police continued to expand the area that they'd sealed with police tape. The victim's body, shielded by a yellow tarp, lay on a set of steps at the west side of the building.

The police presence expanded as the neighbourhood woke up. The apartment is across the street from the Holiday Inn Express, and a stream of guests attempted to get their vehicles from the parking lot through the maze of police tape.

Just after 7:30 a.m. CST the police emergency response team, with battering rams, went into the building from the west side. Shortly after, tenants began emerging.

They tell CBC that police were doing a suite-by-suite search of the building. They frisked tenants individually as the exited, and asked whether anyone remained in their apartment.

"The indication of a firearm is still a safety concern for us, which is the reason that the emergency response team is currently on-scene," police spokesperson Kelsie Fraser said.

Fraser said no suspects have been identified, nor is the dead woman's connection with the building known. 

The tenants were then escorted across the street to the hotel, where police interviewed them.

Paramedics, the K-9 unit and bomb squad were all on scene.

By mid-morning, tenants were bused off-site to the Friendship Inn.