Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Accused West End shooter was out on bail
A Winnipeg street gang member was released on bail just a week prior to allegedly pulling the trigger in two shootings that shocked the city's West End.
The 19-year-old Indian Posse member is now back in custody charged with four counts of attempted murder and other crimes in connection to shootings on May 25 and 26.
Police believe that the man opened fire on a car on Agnes Street in retaliation for the killing of Kyle Earl, 16, outside a Toronto Street home.
The next day, police said he shot at an unknown person on Victor Street. A little girl, 10, was shot in the knee after a bullet flew through a nearby home's front window.
On May 17, the man was released on bail after being arrested and accused of conducting an unrelated break-and-enter on Lipton Street in the West End, CBC News has learned.
The Crown opposed his release, saying his 16 prior criminal convictions — more than half of them for thumbing his nose at court orders and sentence conditions — made him a public risk and likely to not appear for court dates.
CBC News is not naming the man, in order to report on his extensive criminal history which began in 2005 when he was a youth.
According to court transcripts, the break-in happened in early March. The man wasn't fingered as a suspect until early May when police investigators found goods allegedly stolen from the home had been pawned at a pawn shop.
However, Judge Rocky Pollack agreed to set him free on conditions including that he keep the peace and not cause any disturbances, stay away from drugs and alcohol and live at a home on Toronto Street.
In early 2008, the man shot and killed 13-year-old Cody Shuya in the eye after the two broke into a Home Street garage in the dead of night.
Court heard that the man had been out selling crack cocaine for the Indian Posse when he met up with Shuya and the two decided to do "missions," or break-and-enters.
The two came across the gun, struggled for it but it discharged, striking Shuya in the eye. The pellet lodged in his brain, killing him.
The man dragged Shuya out of the garage and left him dying in a snowbank. He pounded on the door of a home and asked the person living there to call 911. He then fled the area.
The man attended Shuya's funeral and wake about a week later as police continued to chase down leads and search for the boy's killer.
He later turned himself in.
He was denied bail for the shooting, but later pleaded guilty to careless use of a firearm and was handed a six-month sentence. A charge of criminal negligence causing death was dropped.
During the May 17 bail hearing, Pollack was not told of the man's involvement in Shuya's death, but he heard that he has prior convictions for breaking and entering, drug possession, and for failing to abide by the terms of the sentence he received in the Shuya case.
He has not yet applied for bail in connection to the recent West End shootings.
Police are continuing their investigation into who killed Kyle Earl.
This man has obviously been involved in many crimes throughout his teen years and I do not believe prison will address any of the underlying issues, which contributed to his crimes. I believe he needs help and assistance to leave the gang lifestyle, learn life skills, etc.