Manitoba

17-year-old homicide victim killed Sunday remembered for making people laugh

Family and friends of a 17-year-old killed in Winnipeg’s North End Sunday paid their respects for the slain teen at a vigil Monday night.

Police called to North End block after report of a fight on the weekend

Melissa Sanderson, the mother of Winnipeg's 19th homicide victim, is comforted at a vigil for her slain son Dorian Sanderson who was killed on Sunday. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Standing in a circle Monday, family and friends of a 17-year-old boy killed in Winnipeg's North End a day earlier mourned.

Melissa Sanderson said her son Dorian Sanderson, pictured, was a jokester who always made people laugh. He was killed in a shooting on May 26. (Submitted by family)

Tealight candles on the street spelt the name Dory as women sang and drummed to remember Dorian Glenn Sanderson who has been identified by immediate family members as the city's 19th homicide victim this year. Family members say he was shot and killed Sunday.

"He was a little jokester always making everybody laugh and always dancing. He was really funny," Melissa Sanderson told CBC while speaking about her slain son Monday night.

Sanderson broke down and wept at a vigil for her boy while sitting behind the candles on a boulevard in the 300 block of Alfred Avenue. Over 60 people filled the block next to Salter Street as the smell of smudge filled the air.

Four police officers were still on the taped off street guarding the scene and many children and teenagers were in the crowd.

"He's funny, he's always making people laugh and whatnot you know. I just didn't expect that. I didn't expect to lose my homie like that," said Sirus Spence, a friend of Dorian's.

The 18-year-old said his buddy was charismatic and had a lot of friends. Winnipeg police have released few details about Sanderson's slaying.

Over 60 people attended the vigil on Alfred Avenue Monday night. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Officers were called Sunday night around 9:20 p.m. to a report of several people fighting and one person seriously injured in the block, police said in a news release. A duty officer wouldn't confirm if an arrest had been made in the killing when contacted Monday night.

Sanderson is being remembered by his friends as charismatic. (Facebook/Dory Sanderson)

Dorian's uncle Sterling Bryan Sanderson said he was first to arrive in the emergency room Sunday night after being told his nephew was shot.

"Everyone was just crying hard."

He too remembered his nephew as someone who could make others laugh. "He was a lovable kid, he was peaceful. Everywhere he went you know he brought smiles to people's faces you know he always made people laugh."

Deadly trend of homicides this year

Melissa said a memory of her son she will forever cherish is when he got a tattoo without her permission at age 16. The tattoo was her name on his hand.

"It was his little strategic way of getting a tattoo," she said.

Dorian's slaying is the third in recent days. Shaylnne Marie Hunter, 25, died after a stabbing on Simcoe Street in the West End early Saturday morning and a man died on Friday evening in Fort Richmond.

The killings put Winnipeg on track to rival its deadliest year in recent memory. In 2011, the city had a record of 41 homicides. That year there had been 16 killings by the end of May. In 2018, there were 22 homicides in the city.

About the Author

​Austin Grabish started reporting when he was young, landing his first byline when he was just 18. He joined CBC in 2016 after freelancing for several outlets. ​​In 2018, he was part of a team of CBC journalists who won the Ron Laidlaw Award for the corporation's extensive digital coverage on asylum seekers crossing into Canada. Email: austin.grabish@cbc.ca