Manitoba

Boy, 9, shot dead by brother on Manitoba reserve

A nine-year-old boy has been shot and killed by his 14-year-old brother on the Sagkeeng First Nation, northeast of Winnipeg.
An RCMP vehicle sits parked near the home on Sagkeeng First Nation where a nine-year-old boy was shot and killed by his 14-year-old brother on Thursday. (Gosia Sawicka/CBC)

A nine-year-old boy has been shot and killed by his 14-year-old brother on the Sagkeeng First Nation, northeast of Winnipeg.

According to the RCMP, the boys were inside their home when the incident happened just before 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The boy was transported to hospital with upper body injuries but was pronounced dead upon arrival.

RCMP officers are in the region investigating but are not providing any further details at this time.

According to several people in Sagkeeng, the brothers were playing with a gun they found in their home when it fired.

A Facebook page for Fort Alexander, which is an alternate name for Sagkeeng, had postings about the shooting as of 10 p.m. Thursday.

"The news of tragedy will not spread as fast as the pain," stated one.

Band Coun. Derrick Henderson said the death was an accident and the close-knit community is devastated.

"It's just so tragic," said Henderson, who is friends with the boy's family. "It's even hard for me to understand, to try to understand."

Sagkeeng Chief Donavan Fontaine said the community needs to rally together and help other children cope with the loss of a friend.

"Small communities, you know, everybody knows everybody. So the shockwaves go all over and the biggest one is the kids in school trying to grapple with this now," he said.

Mara Lara, who lives in the town of Pine Falls, which abuts Sagkeeng and has many residents from the reserve, said people are upset.

"They're pretty shocked and you know, saying, like why leave a gun lying around loaded especially if there's kids around?"

Henderson said many people on the reserve hunt, so firearms are not uncommon, but this incident underscores the importance of keeping all guns locked away from curious children.

"People do go out and hunt and trap and fish. It is our livelihood," he said. "People do have firearms in their homes."

It's been a difficult week on the reserve, located about 125 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

On Monday, the body of 41-year-old Eugene Robert Fontaine was found in a shed behind a home. Two men are now charged with second-degree murder in that death.

Fontaine died after a fight broke out at a party, RCMP said.

"What is going on Sagkeeng?" one person posted on the Fort Alexander Facebook page.

With files from The Canadian Press