Filipino community rallies together in face of teen's slaying

Members of Winnipeg’s Filipino community came together Friday night looking for answers about the slaying of a 17-year-old boy who was killed in a random violent home invasion that’s left them fearing for their own safety.

Police chief tries to reassure residents that city is safe at urgent roundtable talk

Imelda Adao and Jaime Adao sat in front of their tight-knit Filipino community, which came together Friday night to talk about how to prevent another tragedy from happening. Their 17-year-old son was killed in a home invasion Sunday police are calling random. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

Just days after their son's slaying in a home invasion, the parents of a Winnipeg teenager found the strength to sit in front of their tight-knit community that's now fighting to make sure no one else is a victim of such a horrific crime.

Crying while making another plea for justice, Imelda Adao struggled to find the words when reacting to news meth may have been used by her son's attacker before his slaying Sunday night in their home in the West End.

"Why these people are allowed to roam around and, oh Jesus, no we need justice. That's what we're crying for — justice," she said.

Jaime Adao, 17, died after he was attacked by a man who broke into a home on McGee Street on Sunday. He was set to graduate high school this June. (Submitted by Roxanne Roy)

Imelda and her husband Jaime are still trying to understand why their 17-year-old son Jaime Adao Jr. — whom they called Jimboy or Jimmy — was killed.

"Everybody knows that my son is a good boy," said the devastated father. "That's why we need justice for my son."

The teen's grandmother, who was sleeping when the home invasion happened, is now dealing with enormous trauma, said Imelda. "She just saw Jimboy full of blood and she's asking, 'What happened to you, Jimboy?' And there's no answers."

Meth likely used by intruder: police chief

The attack, which police are calling completely random, happened in their family home on McGee Street around 9 p.m. Sunday. The teen called 911, but by the time police arrived, he had already been attacked with a weapon by the intruder, and later died.

Police shot the 29-year-old intruder several times. He remains in hospital in critical condition. 

Arlene Dayanghirang is a member of the 204-Neighbourhood Watch group and says people don't feel safe in their own homes anymore. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

Winnipeg police Chief Danny Smyth said Friday investigators think the intruder used meth before the deadly incident, but they can't be certain of that until a toxicology report is in. The chief said if meth is confirmed to have been used before the attack, this homicide could serve as an unfortunate benchmark in the city's meth epidemic.

"I certainly think it'll be a bench marker, for sure, but there's been a lot of deaths attributed to meth and frankly there's been other police shootings where meth has been involved."

Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth is trying to reassure citizens that the city is a safe place. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

For the second day in a row, Smyth tried to reassure citizens that Winnipeg is in fact a safe place. The chief said he understands why people are on edge and worried about their safety.

"These kind of things will shake up a community and it's not the first time this has happened to our community," he said.

The 204-Neighbourhood Watch group, which is made up of members from the city's Filipino community, put on the event at Maples Collegiate Friday night. Arlene Dayanghirang, a member of the volunteer group, made a call for citizens across the city to come together.

"We don't feel safe anymore, even in our own home," she said.

"It is not just Filipino community that needed this, this forum or this movement. It is time to unite, for us to be heard. All of us have something in our heart. The fear in our heart, that we wanted to be safe, and yet we don't know what is the answer for us to be heard."

Resident has 2 home invasions in 2 years

Several members of the community spoke about their own personal experiences with crime in Winnipeg. Among them was Roselyn Bautista, who's dealt with two home invasions. The first was two years ago, the second just two months ago.

"It's very bad. I'm actually very traumatized whenever I'm home, especially when I have to be home alone," Bautista told CBC.

The Maples resident explained the most recent incident happened when she came home to a house with lights on. That was odd, she said, because her family leaves the lights off when no one is home and she knew everyone was out. She said a man then came rushing toward her as she went to check out her backdoor.

Roselyn Bautista says she has been the victim of a home invasion not once but twice. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

"I was scared, 'cause I don't know what he had, if he had a weapon or something, if there was more people in the house. So he just came rushing out toward me. I ran back out to the car with my friend, yelling out her name."

She said the intruder, who wasn't able to take anything, ran and then jumped a fence outside her home.

Parents still haven't seen son

The Adao family still has not been able to see their boy's body to say goodbye.

They've been waiting all week for an autopsy to finish and hope to get the chance to see Jimboy on Saturday or Sunday.

The parents — whose tragedy has touched lives not only in Winnipeg, but also across the country — wished to thank everyone for their support.

Several Winnipeg police officers were in attendance at Friday night's event. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

"We want to thank everyone who's expressing their love and sympathy with our son," Imelda said. "I can feel that he's very happy right now seeing this kind of support from all, so we'd just like to say thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts, even though this is very hard for us."

Imelda then made another plea for justice.

"I really need a result, immediate result. Justice for my son. He's shouting for justice, dear, so please help us. Everybody help us."

Smyth said investigators have still not been able to talk to the 29-year-old man they plan to charge with murder, due to his serious injuries.