Neighbours shocked as 'friendly, positive' woman killed in her home in south Winnipeg

Coming home to see police units investigating the death of a woman in his neighbourhood was a shocking sight for Richard Middleton.

Death is city's 11th homicide of 2019, 6th in March

Richard Middleton was shocked to learn that just a few houses down, a woman he had been neighbours for years with was assaulted and killed on Tuesday. (Ahmar Khan/CBC)

Coming home to see police units investigating the death of a neighbour in his Southdale neighbourhood was a shocking sight for Richard Middleton.

"It's a bit unusual to come home and find the street taped off. It's kind of eerie to leave at six o'clock and see the police still parked outside," he said.

Things like this don't generally happen around here.- Neighbour Richard Middleton

"Things like this don't generally happen around here."

Officers rushed to a home on Rockcliffe Road, near the Royal Canadian Mint, after getting a 911 call around 10:45 a.m. CT on Tuesday morning. 

They arrived to find a woman suffering from severe injuries and in critical condition, police spokesperson Const. Rob Carver said.

The woman was taken to hospital but died shortly afterward.

Police are parked outside a home on Rockcliffe Road, where the woman died Tuesday. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

She had been living just a few houses down from the Middletons, and they would often run into one another while out on the street.

"I had spoken to her on several occasions. She was very nice to me, a very pleasant lady," said Middleton. 

"I have no understanding as to what's gone on, but it's a shock to the whole neighbourhood."

Neighbours confirmed the woman and her teenage son had lived in the home for a while, and that she was a single mother.

"My heart really goes out to him because she was a single mom to him as a I understand, so I don't know what's going to happen now as far as he goes," Middleton said.

Carver said officers spoke to someone at the house where the woman lived but no arrests have yet been made.

He gave the woman's age as "above 45 and younger than 65," but offered no additional details.

"I have very limited information I can release at this stage," he said. "I'm not able to tell you whether or not there was a weapon involved, and I'm not sure if investigators have definitively determined that."

He said he hopes to have more information on Thursday, including the woman's name.

'Signs of fatigue'

It is the sixth homicide in March, and the workload is taking a toll on officers, Carver said.

"I'm looking at a group of investigators that are really doing everything they can to bring their A game, which is what they always do. But this is a group of people who are starting to show some signs of fatigue," he said.

"They are working unbelievably hard."

Winnipeg didn't record its 11th homicide last year until May 24.

The most recent homicide shows there is no neighbourhood that is truly ever safe, said Middleton.

"The statistic is scary. We've had 11 murders in three months. We're probably going to bust a record this year," he said. 

"It's a very quiet neighbourhood, generally speaking older population. This is a street with limited traffic."

To deal with the load, investigators are being called back from holidays while others are having their holidays cancelled, Carver said.

"At some point there is only so much [they] can do," he said.

Other than drugs being a common element in some of the homicides this year, Carver said they are all unconnected.

"This is not like there was a gang feud where people are being killed because of an underlying public threat. But it's a high number for sure," he said.

"It's tragic for the city."

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