Homicide unit investigates after shooting outside Corydon bar sends 2 to hospital

Winnipeg police are investigating a shooting outside a bar on Corydon Avenue that sent two to hospital in a neighbourhood where residents say they often hear sirens at night.

Police investigate at Bar Italia, where 1 person was critically injured

Winnipeg police are investigating a shooting that happened near Bar Italia overnight. (Warren Kay/CBC)

Winnipeg police are investigating a shooting outside a bar on Corydon Avenue that sent two to hospital in a neighbourhood where residents say they often hear sirens at night.

Police received reports of a gunshots in an area outside of Bar Italia at Corydon and Cockburn Street N. at 12:40 a.m. Tuesday.

A 37-year-old man, who remains in critical condition, and a 28-year-old woman, who is in stable condition, were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds, police said.

A Winnipeg police cruiser blocks taped-off Cockburn Street, between McMillan and Corydon avenues outside Bar Italia, after the shooting. (Warren Kay/CBC)

A large police presence remained outside the bar after sunrise Tuesday, and Cockburn was cordoned off by police tape between Corydon and McMillan Avenue. Investigators gathered evidence outside and also scanned the patio area before entering the bar.

The Winnipeg police homicide unit continues to investigate.

'Different Corydon in the evenings'

Several people who live in the neighbourhood told CBC News the sound of sirens is common at nights during the summer around the time when bars close.

Yellow evidence markers are placed across the alley and boulevard behind Bar Italia as officers investigate the shooting. (Warren Kay/CBC)

"It's a different Corydon in the evenings, especially at closing time it seems, because that incident isn't quite unusual. It's happened before," said Fred Ali.

In 2013, a former bouncer for Bar Italia was found not guilty of manslaughter a couple of years after Crown prosecutors alleged he shoved a man outside who then fell, hit his head and died of blunt-force trauma.

More recently, police investigated an incident in January when two men were stabbed near the bar.

Ali said when he got off the bus near the bar before the incident around midnight, there were people outside on the bar patio, but nothing unusual happening.

Fred Ali says it isn't unusual to see police on the popular stretch of Corydon Avenue near Bar Italia at night in the summer. (Warren Kay/CBC)

"This morning when I heard about the shooting, I was really quite surprised," he said.

"I've lived here over 30 years and I've never felt intimidated, or I've never been chased by anyone or anything like that, but it just seems like the area changes in the evening though, especially in the summertime."

Bob Bergen's highrise apartment overlooks Corydon, where he could see a police presence outside the bar overnight.

An officer looks around the taped-off Bar Italia patio. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)

"It's a nightly occurrence or almost a nightly occurrence where closing time, you start to see sirens and stuff showing up in this area," he said.

"Still a safe place as far as I'm concerned, and I think most of these incidents are between people who know each other. I mean, once in a while I guess someone can get caught in a crossfire, but I don't think Joe Public has anything to be concerned with."

'We don't need this'

Diana Puttee has lived near Corydon for about 20 years and said the nighttime shooting is concerning.

"We don't need this," she said.

"This is a children neighbourhood. A lot of kids walk by here. It's just not safe if people are getting shot."

Police tape extends to Benson Park at the corner of McMillan Avenue and Cockburn Street. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)

Carolee Neufeld has lived in the neighbourhood for 35 years and woke up to find her truck trapped behind police tape. She said she didn't hear anything going on nearby overnight.

"We were a little surprised about it all, but we learn to live with a lot of noise around here," she said. 

"We have a little conversation sometimes in the neighbourhood and we agree that 3 a.m. is the noisiest time of day on our block within the few houses here of Bar Italia. Everybody is leaving the bars.

"We don't get shocked around here."

'Could happen anywhere'

Members of the Corydon Avenue Business Improvement Zone echoed concerns about the shooting and victims, but said people have no reason to be concerned about safety along Corydon.

"This could happen anywhere in the city and it's unfortunate that it happened on Corydon," said Katia Von Stackelberg, executive director of the Corydon BIZ.

Members of the Corydon Avenue Business Improvement Zone echoed concerns about the shooting and victims, but said people have no reason to be concerned about safety along Corydon. 1:55

The street is well-lit at night and there are no plans to cancel any street concerts or outdoor events this summer, she added.

Craig Kitching, president of the board for Corydon BIZ, said the shooting is troubling but is not a reflection on the larger neighbourhood.

"It's not that the area is dangerous, but when people who know each other get into a beef, then it's not the neighbourhood that's the source of the issue," he said.

Kitching said work has already been done to make the area safer. There are several arches along Corydon that are currently being upgraded with LED lights.

No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact homicide investigators at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.

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With files from Meaghan Ketcheson and Nelly Gonzalez