Man killed in Winnipeg police-involved shooting was suicidal, family says
Haki Sefa, 44-year-old plumber, dead after ‘interaction’ with police north of Winnipeg
Family members have identified the victim of a police-involved shooting as Haki Sefa, a 44-year-old plumber and father of four.
His family members told CBC News that Sefa was depressed and suicidal in the lead-up to Sunday night's incident, in which police followed his white van from Transcona to Highway 44 and Highway 59.
Sefa's family had called police with concerns about him, according to an investigation unit that looks into serious incidents involving police in Manitoba.
"All I heard this morning, what my daughter heard and she relayed it to me, [was] that Haki has killed himself," said Janice Sefa, Haki's stepmother.
"Then I did hear that there was suicide notes left and articles being given to, like, his brother and notes — like he'd been planning this, you know, maybe for about a week."
Janice said Haki had been struggling with depression after his niece died in a Regina jail cell, apparently from drug withdrawal.
"[Haki's step-sister] was in tears. It's just a shock to the family. You know, she's thinking about how their family is going to be reacting because he left a brother and two sisters and he has four kids and they're all pretty young," said Janice.
Sherri Chartrand, another family member, said Haki helped raise one of her children, the woman who died in the Regina jail cell.
"I wasn't in a good place at the time, and Haki and my sister stepped up and took [my daughter] in as one of their own, basically. He was very good to her. He loved her dearly and treated her like one of his own kids," said Chartrand.
Haki was married to Chartrand's sister and had four children with her, but they separated about six years ago.
The family has kept in touch because of the children, Chartrand said.
"[Lisa's] a mess because she doesn't know how to deal with this for her children. She's more worried about the kids than anything else," she said. "[He was] a caring, loving father and friend and uncle."
'A caring, loving father'
Chartrand explained Haki took care of her daughter, Breanna Kannick, from the time she was nine to 11 years old.
Kannick died last month in a Regina remand centre while awaiting a bail hearing from an apparent drug withdrawal. She had been charged with drug possession and failed to show up in court.
"I'm thinking Breanna's the one that really did it. I think seeing such a young girl die at such a young age and the way she died. I think that's what got to him," said Chartrand.
She said the pair were very close.
Chartrand said she doesn't know much about how Haki died, but she was told by her sister police were following his vehicle and tried to stop it using spikes on the road.
At the time, Haki's ex-wife Lisa was following police and Haki, because she was worried about him. Their 11-year-old son was in the car at the time.
"She decided to follow them. I'm pretty sure she said she didn't hear any gunshots or anything," said Chartrand. "The van stopped. I don't think she heard any gun shots. She was far away I guess. But they wouldn't let her go see him."
It was a family member who placed the call about a concern for his well-being to police, according to officials with the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba, a group that investigates serious police incidents.
Chartrand said Haki was a good dad, and now, she is making arrangements to go to Winnipeg to be with her family.
The IIU is investigating the shooting.