Winnipeg police shoot knife-wielding man confronting people on busy street during rush hour

By News Staff

A Winnipeg police officer shot a suspect who was allegedly wielding a knife while confronting and yelling at people at a busy intersection in the city’s West End Tuesday evening.

The Winnipeg Police Service says the man was taken to hospital in unstable condition before being upgraded to stable.

Manitoba’s police watchdog (IIU) is investigating.

Police say it happened around 5:20 p.m. at Arlington Street and Notre Dame Avenue.

The suspect was reportedly attempting to set fire – unsuccessfully – to the fuel tank of a truck using a torch lighter. The owner of the truck, who police say was doing business in the area and was not inside the vehicle at the time, called 911.

Police do not believe the suspect and owner of the truck knew each other.

The man then armed himself with a knife and rock, according to police, and began running into traffic.

Winnipeg police say officers arrived three minutes after the call and approached the man, who was still in the street.

A taser was deployed “but to no avail,” police said. That’s when an officer shot the suspect.

At a press conference on three separate matters, WPS Cst. Dani McKinnon could not say why the use of the taser was not successful.

“For this particular situation, I don’t have the details of why it was ineffective,” she said, explaining tasers sometimes don’t work because the probes don’t connect.

“That neuro incapacitation sounds like it didn’t occur,” she said.

Speaking in general terms, McKinnon explained how police choose to proceed during a use of force encounter.

“If one method is deemed ineffective or inappropriate, and it’s taken up into the next level by the officer to gain compliance, if that doesn’t work, you must consider another option for use of force.

“I will not speculate for this and that’s part of the IIU investigation.”

Given the incident happened on a busy street during broad daylight, McKinnon acknowledged there were several potential witnesses and interviews to conduct.

“Arlington and Notre Dame, a very busy intersection to begin with,” she said. “You have a lot of vehicle traffic, a lot of pedestrian traffic, especially now that the weather’s nice, that area is frequented by many, many people. And there’s many factors that are concerning about this. So yeah, obviously that’s something that is going to be difficult to witness. There’s no doubt about that.”

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