WINNIPEG – Downtown streets have reopened as police continue to investigate a violent homicide.
Portage Avenue was blocked in both directions between Hargrave and Smith all of Tuesday morning. It reopened just after 1 p.m.
Constable Jason Michalyshen says they got the call at around 4 a.m. and officers started blocking off a very wide perimeter.
According to the Winnipeg Police CrimeStat crime reporting tool, 10 of the 50 homicides recorded since July 1, 2014 have happened downtown. But Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Director Shawn Matthews doesn’t think this should change people’s perception of downtown.
“I always have to lean on the positive side. Winnipeg is a great community. There are a lot of people that are paying attention. They want not just our downtown but our whole community to be as safe as possible.”
On the flip side, U of M Criminologist Frank Cormier says violent crime tends to be associated around downtown areas.
“You’ve got office buildings, banks, that virtually empty out at night so the crime tends to be just outside on the periphery of those areas. In Winnipeg, we still have a fair amount of mixed use. The core itself, having a higher crime rate is really no different than any other North American city.”
A pile of clothing could be seen lying on the sidewalk beside a bus shelter in front of MTS Centre.
Anyone with information is asked to contact members of the Homicide Unit at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).