A deadly Winnipeg home invasion, parts of which were heard by emergency dispatchers over the phone, has left the entire police service shaken, a spokesperson said.
A 17-year-old boy died after being attacked during a break-in in the city’s West End, and the intruder is in hospital after being shot by police.
Police said the teen, Jaime Adao, was home with his grandmother on Sunday night when a man forced his way into the house on McGee Street, between Wellington and Notre Dame avenues.
When the break-in started, Adao called 911 and was talking with dispatchers. Then, the man got inside the home and began attacking Adao. It was all recorded and overheard by the dispatchers and later the police.
“There was a very calm and collected young man on the phone for the bulk of the phone call, and it turned into an absolutely gut-wrenchingly tragic event,” said police spokesperson Const. Rob Carver.
Police were called around 9 p.m. about a break-in in progress, and when officers arrived, they found the teen being attacked by a man with a weapon.
The officers shot at the attacker, a 29-year-old man police say is well known to them. He was rushed to hospital where he remains in critical condition.
Adao, however, died from his injuries, police said.
“Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family in this absolutely tragic and senseless homicide,” said Carver.
The incident has shaken the entire police service, from the emergency dispatchers to the officers who first responded and those that came afterwards, Carver said.
“I met with investigators this morning, and I have never met them looking as grave and heartbroken as they were today,” said Carver, who paused often during the news conference.
“And I can tell you, I heard the 911 tape this morning and it is something I will never personally get over, and I’ve been doing this job for 26 years. I’m standing up here having a very, very difficult time doing something I do every single day of my career.”
“I can’t imagine what the family has gone through. It’s inconceivable to me, as a parent, what this must be like.”
Adao was a student at Tech–Voc High School in the West End, according to Winnipeg School Division spokeswoman Radean Carter, who said he was a very popular student.
Carver said Adao and his grandmother were the only ones home at the time. Adao was studying for exams while his parents were out.
There is no known connection between Adao and the attacker, said Carver, adding it’s too early to tell if the attack is related to any sort of meth psychosis. Police in Winnipeg have repeatedly named the city’s ongoing influx of meth as a main driver of crime.
“It was completely random in its nature. [It’s] just hard, I think, for anyone — not only our organization but the city — to wrap its head around.”
‘Sweet,’ ‘caring’ family
Tyrelle Piche, who lives across the street from the home at 745 McGee St., said he saw one officer go into that yard Sunday night and then a few seconds later, a speeding police cruiser pulled up. Two officers scrambled out of the car and hopped a low wrought-iron fence around the property.
“Then more officers and an ambulance came,” Piche said, noting there were about eight officers in total. “They pulled out … stretchers. I think they took out two people.”
He described Adao’s parents, who own the house, as a really nice couple who operate Jimel’s Bakery a few blocks away on Bannatyne Avenue.
“They’re sweet, they’re caring. I really hope the best for them,” Piche said.
Carver couldn’t provide information on the weapon used in the attack or any other details, because the incident is under investigation by the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba. The police watchdog looks into all serious police-related matters, whether they occur on or off duty.
Anyone with information or video footage that could help investigators is asked to contact the IIU toll free at 1-844-667-6060.
The police service’s homicide unit is also investigating, and anyone with information can also contact detectives at 204-986-6508 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).
Police shootings in 2019
Sunday’s shooting is the fourth involving a Winnipeg police officer in 2019. Two of those have been fatal.
Machuar Madut, 43, was killed on Feb. 23 after a confrontation with police in his Colony Street apartment suite in West Broadway. Friends and family say Madut was on medication for mental illness.
This past Friday, a group of about 100 people gathered outside the Winnipeg Police Service’s downtown headquarters to question the use of lethal force on Madut.
Chad Williams, 26, died Jan. 11 after being shot by police in the city’s West End. Police said they came across a man near Sargent Avenue and Maryland Street who was acting suspiciously just before 8 p.m.
The man, later identified as Williams, ran and officers made contact with him again in a nearby vacant lot. Police said he pulled out a weapon and officers shot.
The other shooting, which wasn’t fatal, happened Jan. 9, when officers tried to stop a vehicle that was ramming police cruisers near Nairn Avenue and Panet Road in East Elmwood.
At least one officer fired a gun and a 23-year-old man was later arrested, suffering from a gunshot wound. Police have not said if the man was hit by a bullet from one of their guns or someone else’s.
The man was treated and later released from hospital.
That incident is being examined by the IIU, so no details have been released on the charges the man faces.