Armed man shot by Winnipeg police 'couldn't hurt a fly if he tried,' says uncle

Lawrence Disbrowe identified the man shot Monday by police as his nephew, 25-year-old Josh Pardy, who he called a good kid.

Josh Pardy came to Winnipeg last year from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L., to reconnect with dad, uncle says

Family of the man shot by Winnipeg Police Monday identified the 25-year-old as Josh Pardy. (CBC)

The uncle of a man who was shot by Winnipeg police Monday said his nephew couldn't hurt a fly if he tried.

Lawrence Disbrowe identified the man as his nephew, 25-year-old Josh Pardy.

"Josh is a good kid. He's not perfect. Who is?" said Disbrowe.

Disbrowe learned his nephew was shot by police after a relative saw video of Pardy on the news and recognized him.

"I found out this morning from my sister," he said.

According to witnesses, Pardy had a weapon which he refused to drop before he was shot by police. He was taken to hospital in unstable condition after the shooting, but has since been upgraded to stable.

Relatives say Josh Pardy was raised in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L., but had come to Winnipeg last year to reconnect with his father. (Facebook)
His uncle wants to know why officers couldn't have found another way to disarm him.

"That's a big price to pay for having some kind of a weapon. He wouldn't hurt anyone, I know that. He couldn't hurt a fly if he tried," said Disbrowe.

"I phoned the mayor's office and I want some answers," he said.

He said Pardy was born in Winnipeg but was apprehended by Child and Family Services when he was very young, and was then adopted by a family in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L.

Pardy came back to Winnipeg last year to reconnect with his father, Disbrowe's brother, who died six months later. 

"He should do better. He comes from an awesome family. His dad was an RCMP for 15 years. What happened?"

Disbrowe said his nephew fell in with the wrong crowd and had gotten into drugs since coming to Winnipeg.

He said Pardy has a young son in Newfoundland and Labrador.

'We were glad the police were here'

The shooting happened just before 12:30 p.m. Monday in a second-floor downtown skywalk connected to the Winnipeg police headquarters building.

Witnesses said Pardy was acting strangely when he was approached by officers in a Subway restaurant located in the skywalk. Pardy left the restaurant and walked into an optometrist's office next door, armed with a metal pole that had a blade taped to the end.

"It was a spear, is the best way to describe it," said optometrist Robert Lecker.

Lecker said Pardy was waving the weapon around, even though officers with guns drawn were telling him to drop it.

"We were glad the police were here. That's really how it shakes out."

Lecker said Pardy was shot twice, but still refused to co-operate and needed to be restrained by police. 

Had been 'fibbing' to family, says aunt

Pardy doesn't have a criminal record in Winnipeg, but his aunt, Barbara Disbrowe, said he is no stranger to the law on the East Coast.

"He's been incarcerated twice. He's been in trouble ongoing and it got worse here in Winnipeg. He's been associated with drugs beforehand, apparently, that we didn't know of," she said.

Barbara Disbrowe said Pardy's adopted mother phoned her on Tuesday to say her son hadn't been straight with his relatives in Winnipeg.

"Apparently he's been fibbing to our side of the family," she said. 

As is the protocol in any police-involved shooting, the Independent Investigation Unit is investigating.

About the Author

Caroline Barghout

Investigative Reporter, CBC Manitoba I-Team

Caroline began her career co-hosting an internet radio talk show in Toronto and then worked at various stations in Oshawa, Sudbury and Toronto before landing in Winnipeg in 2007. Since joining CBC Manitoba as a reporter in 2013, she has won an award for her work on crowded jails and her investigation into Tina Fontaine's death led to changes in the child welfare system. Email: