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Police Didn't Expect Gunfire

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WINNIPEG police went into a Jubilee Avenue home last month expecting to find evidence that a man was dealing marijuana -- but were apparently unaware they could encounter guns.

The revelation -- contained in court documents released Friday -- may explain why members of the Emergency Response Unit weren't called in to assist with the execution of the search warrant.

Three officers and the man were injured after the Dec. 7 raid ended with a wild shootout.

"In the entire appendix, there is no mention of firearms being present at Jubilee Avenue," wrote Winnipeg police Det.-Sgt. John O'Donovan.

In fact, police ended up finding three rifles, three shotguns and two pellet guns in the home -- although all but a 12-gauge shotgun allegedly used in the shooting and found on the bathroom floor were being stored properly in a locked cabinet.

The information is contained in an affidavit to obtain a search warrant for the residence in the aftermath of the shooting, which a judge agreed Friday to unseal.

The 50 pages of documents also reveal -- for the first time publicly - -- that it was police who fired the shots that left the man injured.

Until now it was not clear if the man's wounds -- three of his fingers were amputated -- were caused by an accidental self-inflicted injury. Police confirm the man was hit twice, in the left hand and right arm.

A paramedic who treated the man on the ride to St. Boniface hospital has told police he expressed concern about the injured officers, asking "on several occasions...if they were seriously hurt."

As well, police state in their affidavit that it was a tip from a "reliable confidential informant" that originally led them to the home.

A three-year veteran constable with the street crime unit received information that the man was dealing cocaine and marijuana out of the home he shared with his parents and girlfriend, according to the affidavit.

Police obtained a warrant during the day on Dec. 7 and gathered their resources for execution of it later that night.

A total of 12 officers were utilized in the raid and met briefly at the Public Safety Building to discuss plans.

Two officers were tasked with knocking down the west side door with a battering ram, which allowed five other officers and a canine unit member to burst in.

"They announced their arrival by shouting "Police, police, police," O'Donovan wrote in his affidavit.

Police began searching the home and say they were ambushed by a series of shots coming from the main floor bathroom.

Const. Don Murray was shot in the stomach and suffered extensive injuries. Const. Curtis Penner was hit in the hand and also seriously injured. Both officers have recently been discharged from hospital and are continuing their recovery at home.

Const. Jeremy Cull was also shot, but it's believed his leg wound was caused by a bullet fired by another officer. He returned to work this week. Police don't confirm or deny in their search warrant affidavit whether Cull was hit by so-called "friendly fire."

The man has been charged with attempted murder in connection with the shooting. He applied for bail on Thursday but was denied by provincial court Judge John Guy.

Police say two other people were in the home at the time of the shooting.

The mother told investigators she "doesn't know her son to have any guns in his possession." She confirmed her husband, had several firearms in the locked basement cabinet, with the ammunition stored in the kitchen cupboard.

The girlfriend told police she knew that her boyfriend had recently been storing a short-barrelled hunting gun in their bedroom closet, according to the affidavit.

The father confirmed to police he has several legally registered and stored firearms. He also admitted his son "associates with gang members, but has never seen his son with any other guns," according to the affidavit.

Police have subsequently seized marijuana, a quantity of Percocet tablets, Canadian and American currency totalling more than $4,000 and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia and drug packaging materials from the home.

The man, his parents and girlfriend are each charged with possessing a substance for the purpose of trafficking, possessing a controlled drug or substance and possession of the proceeds of crime.

MAYHEM BY THE NUMBERS

WINNIPEG police have documented 84 categorized items seized from inside the home at Jubilee Ave., where three officers and a suspect were shot during execution of a drug search warrant last month.

Here's a look at some of what police found:

BLOOD

37 separate blood swabs from various locales including the northeast bedroom, southeast bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and main landing area.

BODY PARTS

A partial fingertip, located in the bathtub of the main-floor washroom. A bone fragment, found on the hallway carpet adjacent to the bathroom.

GUNS

A Remington 12-gauge Wingmaster model shotgun found in the southeast bedroom. A Browning Arms Co. 20-gauge double-barrelled shotgun from a locked rifle cabinet in the basement. A B-Square Rifle, seized from a locked rifle cabinet in the basement. A Lakefield Model .22-calibre rifle from a locked rifle cabinet in the basement. An Arrow pellet gun from a locked rifle cabinet in the basement. A GAMO pellet gun from a locked rifle cabinet in the basement. A Ranger 16-gauge single-barrel shotgun from a locked rifle cabinet in the basement. A Savage Model .7-mm-calibre rifle from a locked rifle cabinet in the basement.

BULLETS

16 shotgun pellets located in the carpet of the northeast bedroom. 9 shotgun pellets, an embedded slug and a large hole in the bathtub. A black nylon bag containing additional shotgun shells found in the bathroom. A lead slug found on top of several CDs and DVDs in a basement cupboard. A container of shotgun shells seized from the kitchen pantry. Assorted ammunition found in the closet of the southeast bedroom in a green "Igloo" thermal bag. A white plastic bag containing one bolt action, one .22-calibre clip and one high-powered rifle clip in a cupboard at the end of the hallway leading to the bathroom and bedrooms.

MISCELLANEOUS

Pieces of drywall containing bullet fragments taken from the kitchen wall. Winnipeg police body armour found in the northeast bedroom. A Velcro police issue belt, found on the floor in the northeast bedroom. The front bathtub panel, cut from the main-floor bathtub. The main-floor bathroom door.

THE JUBILEE AVENUE DRUG RAID - HOW IT WENT DOWN

HERE'S how the events of Dec. 7 break down, according to a Winnipeg police search warrant affidavit.

EARLY EVENING -- Based on information received from a confidential informant, police obtain a search warrant for Jubilee Ave. under the name of their suspect.

10:10 p.m. -- A dozen Winnipeg police officers gather for a briefing in the offices of the street crime unit, located on the 5th floor of the Public Safety Building downtown. A diagram of the home at Jubilee Ave. is shown to all members, and a plan for a "dynamic entry" is devised.

10:20 p.m. -- Meeting is over.

10:45 p.m. -- Police gather in the parking lot of the Fort Rouge Leisure Centre, approximately three blocks from the target residence. Plans for the search warrant execution are finalized. Each officer is given a specific role. Police move forward to a second staging area, near Jubilee Avenue and Cockburn Street, for a final chat.

10:50 p.m. -- Two officers armed with a battering ram are at the west door and force it open. Six officers -- five street crime members and a canine cop -- rush in shouting "police, police, police."

Moments later, three of the five street crime members who stormed the house are down on the ground, suffering gunshot injuries. Their suspect is also wounded. All four men are rushed to hospital. Police secure the scene.

Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2007 Winnipeg Free Press
Contact: letters@freepress.mb.ca
Website: Winnipeg Free Press - Breaking News, Sports, Manitoba, Canada
 
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