Father of 4 dies in shooting involving police north of Winnipeg
Shooting happened about 10:30 p.m. Sunday near intersection of Highway 59 and Kirkness
A 44-year-old man is dead after police were involved in a shooting on a highway north of Winnipeg.
Police have not said whether an officer fired a fatal shot or how the man died in the incident about 10:30 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Highway 59 and Kirkness Road.
Zane Tessler, director of the Independent Investigation Unit (IIU) of Manitoba, which investigates all serious incidents involving police, said Winnipeg police got a call from a family member concerned about the driver of a white van.
Officers tracked the vehicle down in Transcona.
They then followed the vehicle at a normal speed to Highway 44 and Highway 59, where they tried to stop the van, Tessler said.
"[Officers] conducted a stop of that vehicle and then dealt with the occupant," said Tessler. "Moments later officers were required to use their service weapons and discharge their firearms … [I] can't confirm whether or not the driver of the van did have a weapon on his person."
Tessler later clarified a weapon that didn't belong to police was found at the scene, but he could not confirm if it had been fired.
Tessler said emergency medical services were provided, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
It's too early to say yet whether the officers killed the man, Tessler said, adding that an autopsy has yet to be done.
Family members have identified the man as Haki Sefa, a plumber and father of four who was suffering from depression.
Winnipeg Police Association president Maurice Sabourin said 12 officers are being investigated in connection with the shooting.
Sabourin said officers are now receiving counselling and support, which is standard when they are involved in a traumatic incident.
He also confirmed no officers were hurt.
As investigators went over the scene Monday morning, a gun and a pair of eyeglasses lay on the road next to a white van, which had a smashed passenger-side window.
Unmarked black police SUVs had the van boxed in and investigators in white coveralls photographed the scene and placed evidence tags.
"We heard like police sirens, then after that it was like five or four times, bang-bang-bang-bang. So my goodness, we didn't know what's going on and we saw a huge line of police here — lights, lot of lights," she said.
The northbound lanes of Highway 59 were closed from Highway 44 to Goodman Drive but have been reopened.
The Winnipeg Police Service would not comment on the incident, deferring to the IIU, which has taken over the investigation.
"As this matter involves a fatality, a request for a civilian monitor will be made to the Manitoba Police Commission," states a news release from the IIU.
Recent Winnipeg police-involved shootings
- June 19: Man who allegedly tried robbing Domo gas bar at Wardlaw Avenue and Donald Street confronted police just before 9:30 p.m. He was struck in the upper body and transported to hospital in stable condition.
- Dec. 17: Police fired upon but did not injure a suspect involved in a commercial break and enter.
- July 21: Police shot a man suspected in the armed robbery of a cab driver near St. Mary's Road and Guay Avenue . He was taken to hospital in critical condition, and later upgraded to stable.
- March 6: Police shot a 28-year-old man armed with a machete in the 600 block of Home Street. The man died of his injuries.
- May 9: Police shot a 42-year-old man as they responded to a break and enter in the 100 block of Langside Street. The man died of his injuries.
- July 4: Police shot at but did not injure a 22-year-old man after reports of a man brandishing a firearm.
- July 21: Police shot at a man after a gun call in the 500 block of Alexander Avenue. He escaped.
- Nov. 8: Police shot a 14-year-old male after reports of a stolen vehicle near Maryland Street and Portage Avenue. He was treated and released into custody.
- Feb. 26: Police shot a 24-year-old man in the 800 block of Ashburn Street after a woman was stabbed. The man was taken to hospital in stable condition.
- July 24: Police shot a 27-year-old man as they executed a drug warrant in the 300 block of Mountain Avenue. The man was treated for non-life threatening injuries.