Manitoba

Transit riders fear weapons after fatal shooting

The safety of public transit in Winnipeg is under the microscope after a man accused of gunning down a bystander on a busy street allegedly transported the gun used in the crime on a bus just prior to the killing.
The Winnipeg Transit shelter at the scene of the shooting was smashed when the victim went careening through it.
The safety of public transit in Winnipeg is under the microscope after a man accused of gunning down a bystander on a busy street allegedly transported the gun used in the crime on a bus just prior to the killing.

Darren Walsh, 24, died Sunday afternoon after being shot multiple times outside a bus stop on Main Street.

Police said his alleged killer, Jheruel Mananghaya, had just got off a bus when the two exchanged words and Walsh was shot and killed with bullets fired from a long-barreled firearm. The shooting happened in front of Walsh's girlfriend and her young daughter.

Mananghaya, 24, remains in custody and is charged with second-degree murder and numerous weapons offences. At the time of the shooting, he was bound by a court-order to not possess weapons, based on a 2005 conviction for robbery.

On Tuesday, Winnipeg bus riders expressed concern that anyone was somehow able to ride the bus while armed.

"It's pretty scary," said Allen Swift. "I have a girlfriend, and she has a couple of kids. What if she was in the bus stop as well?" Swift asked.

"I don't know how he could have gotten on a bus .… Bus drivers can only do so much. I can't really see anything being done about it," he added. "I'd say cameras, but if they're concealing [the weapon], it's really hard to say."

Edward Sellars, who said he uses Winnipeg Transit every day, said people's fear of weapons on buses has been elevated for some time now.

"It's getting worse," Sellars said. "You don't know if [they're] carrying a weapon in their sock or if they stop and ask you for a [cigarette], or if they ask you for change. You're just frightened," he said.

Union says buses safe

Darren Walsh, 24, died in hospital on Sunday after being shot several times. ((Family photo))
The union that represents city transit drivers, however, said safety is paramount on city buses, which were recently upgraded to include surveillance cameras.

"With the cameras, with the emergency buttons on the radio … I think we are protected to the best of the ability of the system," Keith Scott, president of Local 1505 of the Amalgamated Transit Union said.

Scott added that the shooting did not take place on the bus.

"This didn't even happen in the bus .… this person used the bus as a method of transporting their weapon of choice," Scott said.

Scott said he's heard of people calling for metal detectors on buses, but he worries what would happen if the detector went off. He said the person carrying the weapon may become agitated and choose to use it on passengers or drivers.

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