Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Family describes horror of West End shooting involving two young girls

A Winnipeg mother whose two young daughters were injured in a West End shooting says she holds no ill will toward those police say were responsible for pulling the trigger — one of whom had been to her home a number of times in the past.
The single mother of three spoke out about her family's May 26 ordeal in an exclusive interview with the CBC's Sheila North-Wilson on Tuesday.
'It hurt and I screamed, because it really hurt, and I couldn't feel my knees after that. I couldn't walk'—Injured girl, 10
She described the horror of returning home minutes moments after the shooting to find her 10-year-old daughter in a heap at the door of her Victor Street home.
"I walk in and I find my daughter at the door in a pool of blood," she said. "I said, 'what happened?' She said, 'Mom, I've been shot, I've been shot.'"
The girl was hit in the knee by a bullet that was fired from across the street and ripped through the home's front window.
The injured girl and her eight-year-old sister were by the window watching TV.
The child victim told North-Wilson that all the feeling drained from her legs.
"It hurt and I screamed, because it really hurt, and I couldn't feel my knees after that. I couldn't walk," the girl said.
Shattered glass from the punctured window nicked her younger sister in the head.
The mother said she called 911, and both children were rushed to hospital.

Target unknown

Police announced the next day that a 14-year-old boy was arrested in connection to the shooting. On May 28, a 19-year-old man was also charged.
Both boys are linked to the Indian Posse street gang. Police believe the violence was retaliation for a fatal shooting about a block away on Toronto street a day earlier.
The mother said the 14-year-old — who can't be identified under Canadian youth justice laws — has been to her home many times.
She said the only reason she can think of him being involved is because of peer pressure applied on him by the older boy.
'My heart bleeds for them — they're young, they're babies, they're lost.'—Mother of wounded girl on the suspects arrested
The woman's eldest daughter, 17, told North-Wilson she believes she was the intended target of the bullets. She said the boy had been in the home with a friend just before the shots rang out.
The teen said the boy was lurking around outside just before the shots were fired.
She left the home and went outside in an effort to try and lure them away, she said.
However, her theory appears to contradict what police believe.
Court documents filed in the 19-year-old's case list the intended victim of the shooting as "a person unknown." Police have publicly said that the home was not connected in any way to the motive for the shooting.
The 19-year-old and the 14-year-old currently are in jail.

Mother fears CFS, not gangs

Most of the gang members in the area are products of Manitoba's child-welfare system, the mother said. They need love, she added, and said she harbours no resentment toward them.
"My heart bleeds for them — they're young, they're babies, they're lost," she said.
She said the most terrifying thing about the shooting is the possibility Child and Family Services could take her kids away.
"I'm more terrified of them than I am of the gangs," she said.
The family is in the process of moving to another home over safety concerns, the mother said.

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