Scene inside café where man was fatally stabbed was 'chaos,' witness says
One man died and another was sent to hospital after an argument led to a fight at Ramallah Café
A customer at a Pembina Highway café where a man was fatally stabbed late Monday night says he witnessed a chaotic scene and was forced to take cover after a fight broke out.
University of Manitoba law student Darius Hunter was studying with a group of friends at Ramallah Café near Nassau Street North when he heard some people getting into an argument. People started throwing bricks at the windows and Hunter heard a woman scream that she thought someone had been stabbed.
"It was a definite feeling of imminent harm," Hunter said. "I was a little worried because you could see that the emotion was so high that I don't know if they would take it out on patrons … It just seemed that it was it was a bit of chaos."
Hunte, who said he has been to the café many times, and says he's never experienced anything like this before.
"I'm sad to hear that this incident took place. I'm sad that I was privy to it. I'm sad for the family of a kid …or a young individual who lost his life in what appears to be an absolute avoidable tragedy. And it's unfortunate that it has to happen at an establishment where you know lots of good people go," he said.
A police spokesperson said the restaurant and hookah café was busy when an argument escalated to the point where two men were stabbed.
The Winnipeg Police Service's tactical unit and Air1 helicopter were brought in during the investigation, police said.
The spokesperson wouldn't say what kind of weapon was used in the assault.
Investigators are interviewing a number of witnesses. No arrests have been made.
The café told CBC News in a Facebook message the restaurant, which stays open late on weekdays, will be closed until the investigation is complete.
Renee Campbell, who lives down the street from the café, said she was sorry to hear about the incident but wasn't surprised to learn about the fight. She said the area has been noisy at night since the restaurant opened.
"I told my boyfriend that something was going to happen one of these nights," she said. "I've seen fights late at night."
Community mourning man killed
Members of Winnipeg's Syrian community have been devastated by the death of the young man, whom CBC News is not naming because it's not known whether all of his next of kin have been notified.
A friend of the family who spoke to CBC said the victim came here about three years ago after fleeing Syria. His family lived in a refugee camp in Jordan before coming here.
"We talked to the family. It's really shocking for them," said Omar Rahimi. "They came here for a better life and now to lose their son it's really heartbreaking for everybody and for them especially. A very, very sad day."
Rahimi says the victim was a popular young man. Rahimi hires many young Syrian refugees to work at his business, adding the victim's father works for him.
Members of the community gathered at Douglas Mennonite Church on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, a memorial service will be held at Gateway Community Centre.
With files from Austin Grabish