Saskatoon

Grocery store workers tried to help victim of Saskatoon's 16th homicide of 2019

A 35-year-old man has become Saskatoon's 16th homicide victim of the year.

Employee called 911 and said co-worker had witnessed shooting of 35-year-old man

The 200 block of Avenue X N. and a section of 23rd Street W. were blocked off by police tape Saturday afternoon. (Alicia Bridges/CBC News)

A grocery store worker was shocked to learn that a gunshot wound victim he helped on the street Saturday morning has died. Police say the 35-year-old man is Saskatoon's 16th homicide victim.  

The employee, who can't be named for safety reasons, who works at the grocery store on 22nd Street close to where the body was found, called 911 after he was told another worker had witnessed a man being shot in the back behind the store. Police said they received a report of gunfire and an injured man at about 7:20 a.m. CST.  

He said he found the victim face-down behind the grocery store on the sidewalk at the corner of 23rd Street W. and Avenue X N. 

'He was still alive'

The employee said he saw one gunshot wound in the man's back. Initially he thought the man was going to survive. 

"He was still alive, in pain … coherent," he said.

The man was talking to the police when he saw an ambulance arrive. The paramedics were doing compressions and then they loaded the man into the vehicle, he said.   

"As far as I saw then, he was still alive when he left but he was fading fast," he said. 

He said his colleague, who works as a receiver unloading products from trucks, along with the truck driver, witnessed the whole incident. 

Major crimes unit investigating

The employee said it was a shocking experience. 

"I've never witnessed a person shot before or dealt with [that] so it's a little kind of nerve-wracking to deal with that, especially when you find out he didn't make it,"

"It's a little shake to the system that's for sure."

The victim was transported to hospital but died from his injuries.

The man's death has been ruled a homicide and major crimes detectives have been called in to investigate, police said.

There is no word of any suspects or arrests.

This year is the deadliest in Saskatoon's history. The previous record for the most homicides in one year was set in 2018, when police investigated 13 homicides.

Anyone with information about this incident is being asked to call the Saskatoon Police Service on 306-975-8300 or Crime Stoppers on 1-800-222-8477.

About the Author

Alicia Bridges is a digital and broadcast journalist at CBC Saskatoon. Email her at alicia.bridges@cbc.ca.