WINNIPEG – It was a chilling crime that happened in a place so many of us go for comfort food. A Winnipeg man is on trial for murder, after allegedly shooting two men in a Salisbury House on Pembina Highway.
Devin Hall, 28, is charged with first degree murder and attempted murder in connection to the shootings on September 27, 2012.
In an opening address to the 12 person jury, prosecutor Cindy Sholdice described the Sals as the last stop on a night of drinking for Jeffrey Lau and his friends.
She told the jury it was also the last morning of Lau’s life.
Sholdice told court someone stormed in with their face covered, wearing black gloves and holding a hand gun. She said the gunman opened fire, hitting Lau six times and killing him. Another man, a friend of Lau’s, was also hit in the arm and ankle. He survived and testified to begin the trial.
The man, who cannot be named because of a publication ban ordered by the courts, testified he and his friends were eating when the gunman came in. He described diving behind a booth to take cover after being hit.
He said it felt like the shots were “never ending” and said he thought someone would eventually come around the booth and shoot him in the head.
That didn’t happen. He says the next thing he knew, Lau was being put on a stretcher and they were both at the hospital. He admitted he never saw the shooter and had no idea who pulled the trigger.
He gave statements to police in the hospital before and after surgery but said he was high on morphine and could have been making things up.
The friend also told court he “heard” Lau was a drug dealer. In a statement to police read by the defence, he suggested Lau dealt cocaine.
The friend later told court he believed the shooting was targeted, even describing it as “a hit”.
Prosecutors have not suggested a motive for the killing but say they have plenty of evidence to prove Hall is the killer.
A police officer who will testify found gloves, a shirt and a gun nearby. A DNA expert is expected to testify Hall’s DNA was on the gloves. An RCMP firearms expert will also describe how he believes the gun found is the one that killed Lau.
Surveillance video will also be used as evidence and the waitress in the Salisbury House will take the stand. The trial is slated to last several weeks.