Manitoba

'He had lots left': Friends mourn death of Sioux Valley man shot while hunting

Friends of a Sioux Valley Dakota Nation man who died after he was shot while out hunting last week are remembering him as a good guy and a great athlete.

Close friend says Dylan Hapa, 24, was popular and a very good athlete

Dylan Hapa, 24, died in hospital on Saturday after he was shot while hunting in western Manitoba last week. (Facebook )

Friends of a Sioux Valley Dakota Nation man who died after he was shot while out hunting last week are remembering him as a good guy and a great athlete.

Dylan Hapa, 24, died in hospital on Saturday, days after he was shot in the woods northwest of Brandon last Tuesday. 

Ryan Sinclar was a close friend of Hapa's and grew up with him in the rural Manitoba First Nation, located about 200 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg. He's struggling to come to grips with Hapa's death. 

"He was very popular ... a very talented athlete," Sinclair said Monday. "Hockey player and baseball, a very, very good baseball player."

Sinclair said Hapa, or "Haps" as he was known to friends, batted left and he always dared him to try and hit the ball into right field, calling it Hapa's "sneaky little style" of playing the game. Sinclair said he'll miss small things like that. 

"We were close," he said. "It's just out of the blue ... hard to grasp."

His baseball team, the Brandon CT Cardinals, and others posted messages of condolence on Twitter. 

On the ice, Hapa was a defenceman who wore number four and once played on a team with Calgary Flames winger Michael Ferland. 

Sinclair said he doesn't know much about what happened out in the woods last week. RCMP have revealed little about the incident and investigation to date, confirming only that officers were called late Tuesday night about someone being wounded by a gunshot while out hunting.

Big loss for community 

"It's a big loss for the community, he was well respected," Sinclair said through tears. "Everyone knew who Dylan was. It's just a sad time." 

Sinclair said while he wasn't close in age to Hapa, about ten years apart, and didn't share many friends, they formed a special bond early on through their love of sports. 

"He was a great man," he said. "He was young. He had lots left."

"We lost a good person."

RCMP said Sunday that the investigation into the shooting was ongoing. 

now