Teen faces 7 counts of attempted murder after police shot at during standoff

A 16-year-old boy faces 30 charges, including seven of attempted murder, in connection with a series of shootings that ended in an armed-and-barricaded standoff with Winnipeg police.

'We did what we needed to do and we did it in a way that everyone was able to walk away safely'

The police armoured vehicle was part of the standoff at Salter Street and Bannerman Avenue on Wednesday. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

A teenager faces 30 charges, including seven for attempted murder, in connection with a series of shootings that ended in an armed-and-barricaded standoff with Winnipeg police.

"We've got a 16-year-old youth in custody for just a massive amount of some of the most serious charges I've seen," said police spokesperson Const. Rob Carver.

The shooter had more than one firearm "and all were long guns," Carver said.

"I've really never seen anything like this in my career. I've talked to a number of officers who were there … and there's a lot of trauma involved here. Officers are going to struggle with this for a while."

Some 100 officers were involved in the hours-long standoff outside a home near Salter Street and Bannerman Avenue in the city's North End on Wednesday, which saw police exchange gunfire with someone inside.

"Both general patrol and [tactical support] members came under fire," Carver said at a news conference on Friday.

Bullets fired by the barricaded suspect hit the police services armoured vehicle and a cruiser but "amazingly no officers were injured in this incident," Carver said.

A window was damaged by a bullet during an exchange of gunfire on Wednesday in Winnipeg's North End. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

The 16-year-old ultimately surrendered around 6 p.m., after police shot cannisters of gas through windows to force him out of the home.

"We did what we needed to do and we did it in a way that everyone was able to walk away safely. Is there going to be lasting effects? Absolutely," Carver said.

"This is a very difficult event to process, both for our officers who were out there being shot at as well as for people who were being told that they have to stay in their houses and in the basement.

"Your life and lives of your colleagues beside you are at risk. Somebody's trying to kill you."

Nine officers have been placed on administrative leave while they deal with the stress, police said Thursday.

The standoff was the culmination of a crime spree that began around 6 a.m. Tuesday, Carver said.

Police say the teen used a rifle to fire numerous shots at a house on Magnus Avenue between Arlington and McGregor streets. Although several people were inside at the time, there were no injuries.

At about 6 a.m. Wednesday, the teen shot up a house on Aikins Street near Mountain Avenue, police say. Again, it was occupied by several people but no one was hurt, police said.

Officers who responded to the Aikins shooting used a canine unit to track the scent of a suspect to the house on Bannerman.

A forensics officer examines the front of the Winnipeg Police Service's armoured vehicle on Thursday morning. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Police surrounded the house, blocked some roads and put out a public alert for people to avoid the area. A number of people from the house were taken out but the teen was not found, Carver said.

Shortly after noon on Wednesday, police said the situation had been resolved. Most police vehicles left but two remained, parked at the front and rear.

At 12:30 p.m., the teen showed up and ran inside the house, telling police he had a gun, Carver said. Shortly before 1 p.m., shots were fired at officers positioned outside, he said.

The public was again urged to stay away as police units swarmed the area. The roads were reopened after 6:30 p.m., when the teen was arrested.

The windows of a home are shattered after a suspect exchanged gunfire with police, who shot gas cannisters into the house. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

In addition to 21 weapons-related charges and seven attempted murder charges, the teen faces charges of obstructing a peace officer and using a disguise with the intent to commit a crime.

Police are still investigating the incident and believe there is a street gang connection to the teen, Carver said, but he wouldn't elaborate.

"We don't ever get into the details of gang connections," he said. "We don't want to highlight them. I certainly don't want to give any gang any undue publicity."

The police service's forensics unit is still gathering evidence and bullets and making sure the scene is "properly mapped up," Carver said.

There is suspicion the teen might have been on meth but police cannot say for sure at this point, he said.

About the Author

Darren Bernhardt

Reporter/Editor

Darren Bernhardt spent the first dozen years of his journalism career in newspapers, first at the Regina Leader-Post then the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. He has been with CBC Manitoba since 2009 and specializes in offbeat and local history stories and features. Story idea? Email: darren.bernhardt@cbc.ca