A 44 year old man, later identified as Haki Sefa, was shot dead by Winnipeg police late Sunday night, September 20, 2015. Sefa, a father of four who worked as a plumber, died from wounds received during an interaction with police on Highway 59 near Kirkness Road north of Winnipeg. He had been followed by police after a call was put in by a family member concerned about his well being.
Early reports suggested that Sefa had become depressed, perhaps suicidal, following the death of his niece Breanna Kannick, whom he helped raise, last month. Sadly the young woman was herself a victim of police intervention, having died in a Regina jail cell from apparent drug withdrawal under troubling circumstances about which there have been many questions raised but not yet answered.
Police following Sefa trapped his vehicle between two police vehicles before the shooting started. Witnesses reported hearing several shots (four or five) fired at the time Sefa was killed. Around 12 officers were involved in the shooting.
The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba (IIUM) is investigating. The IIU was formed to investigate cases in which civilians are hurt or killed by police officers and was only officially instituted in June. This will be its first case. Other such units in Ontario and British Columbia have experienced interference and obstruction from officers.