Monday, May 10, 2010
Break and enter suspect shot and killed by Winnipeg police
WINNIPEG — Police shot and killed a man who may have been involved in a break-and-enter in West Broadway this morning.
The dead man has been identified as Lance Trevor Muir, 42 years.
The circumstances that led to Muir's death are still murky. Police, who spoke to reporters earlier this morning, released few details, saying the investigation is only just beginning.
"This process will take some time," said police spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen. "It’s going to be a long day for investigators."
Michalyshen said police were called just before 9 a.m. to what appeared to be an attempted break-and-enter in progress.
There are reports the man may have been seen on Langside Street with a pillow case and a crowbar, though Michalyshen would not confirm that, and said the information from the initial 911 call was limited.
When police arrived, they got into some kind of confrontation with the man and shot him at least once.
The man was taken to the hospital in critical condition and later died.
The incident also involves a Cadillac that rammed into a BFI bin in the alley behind Langside and Sara Avenue. The sedan has bullet holes in the windshield, and its windshield wipers are still going, three hours after the shooting.
Police are still checking to determine whether the car was stolen.
Police have taped off a large perimeter with yellow crime-scene tape. Access to much of Langside Street at Sara and Westminster avenues and at Broadway is limited.
It’s the second police-involved shooting of the year.
LANCE Trevor Muir was a 42-year-old former biker known for a fast lifestyle that put him in conflict with the law.
It was fitting then, said a family member, that the tattoo artist and former Spartans gang member died Sunday after a dramatic crash in a Langside Street alley that left behind a crumpled Cadillac with a windshield riddled with bullet holes.
Muir had allegedly been breaking into a home on the 100 block of Langside Street, between Westminster Avenue and Sara Avenue, when police officers encountered and shot him.
Residents of the West Broadway neighbourhood said they heard shots followed by a large banging noise at about 9 a.m. Sunday.
"As far as I’m concerned, he died the way he lived," said Dean Muir, the man’s 45-year-old brother. "It’s a shock, but a lot of people that knew him could see this coming."
The British Columbia man said Lance Muir was released less than three years ago from federal prison after a conviction for attempted murder. He said the family had scant details Sunday about what transpired before the shooting, but his brother had a rocky relationship with police.
Police would not comment on a report that Muir had been seen with a crowbar and pillowcase.
Medical personnel rushed to the scene and tried to resuscitate Muir, taking him to hospital.
"We’re very unsure of the whole situation," said Dean Muir, noting the Cadillac belonged to his brother’s friend.
Police would not say how many officers were involved in the incident or how many shots were fired.
"It’s a traumatic incident for everyone," said Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen.
Dean Muir said his brother had tangled frequently with the justice system, although his brother did not usually do break-and-enters.
"When he was younger, maybe a little bit... but this generally was very uncharacteristic of him."
In 1997, then 29-year-old Lance Muir pleaded guilty to attempted murder in connection with the kidnapping and shooting of a 26-year-old man, Terry Fussey, from the same motorcycle gang.
Fussey was taken at gunpoint in May 1996 from a downtown pool hall.
A group of men beat him with a baseball bat, stole cash, and drove him to the Winnipeg Floodway, where they shot him in the head and dumped him. The man stumbled to safety and survived. The attack was chalked up to warring between rival factions of the Spartans.
Muir received a 10-year sentence for attempted murder in connection with the attack, as did Jean Paul Brouillette, then 36. Trouble continued after Muir went to prison. In 2000, he was charged after a former Saskatchewan Penitentiary guard went to court for smuggling hash into the prison.
By 2004, Muir was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for violating his parole.
"His life was his life, and he led it his way," his brother said. "Most of his life was in institutions." Dean said his father and mother, who are divorced and live separately in B.C., were struggling with the news Sunday. The family is trying to get to Winnipeg as soon as possible.
The family was struck by tragedy in 2005 when Lance Muir’s stepsister Sabrina Darichuk and his stepbrother Kelly Camplin were fatally shot by Darichuk’s estranged husband, Mathew Darichuk, before he turned the gun on himself.
"My mom is a very strong woman. My mom knew eventually something like this was going to come to pass," Dean said. He said he last spoke to his brother about two months ago.
Lance Muir lived in a suite at a rickety Young Street rooming house less than 600 metres from where the shooting happened. Rick, a rooming house resident who did not want his last name published, said Muir had no job and no girlfriend. He said Muir was "quiet" and was completing a methadone treatment program.
"I thought he’d be the one burying me," Rick said. "Theguycouldn’tgetabreak.Nomatterhowhetried to do something, it always turned around on him." Lance worked as a tattoo artist at the time of his death, said his brother. "People in the city knew him very well for his artwork."
His Facebook profile shows an ornate image of a skull. Lance Muir had an adult daughter in Winnipeg with whom he was not in contact. Members of his family found out about the death after they received a Facebook message. A relative called a hospital to try to confirm the death before police made it to Muir’s sister to inform her, a family friend said.
Sunday afternoon, yellow police tape still surrounded a back alley where the crumpled car sat, its wipers still going. A forensic identification truck was parked outside 143 Langside St., and officers were at the back of the home.
Officers involved in a shooting are put on paid administrative leave following an incident. An inquest will examine the circumstances of Muir’s death because police were involved.
It’s the city’s second police-involved shooting of the year. In March, police shot and killed a 28-year-old man that witnesses said was carrying a machete near Sargent Avenue and Arlington Street.