Police in Winnipeg have arrested a man authorities allege killed four people in a mass shooting at a rooming house Sunday morning, but revealed no information about the connections between the suspect and the victims.
Winnipeg Police Service on Friday morning charged Jamie Randy Felix, who served in the military as a corporal, with four counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempt to commit murder. WPS, in the early morning of Nov. 26, responded to a report of multiple injured people. Officers found five people with gunshot wounds.
Inspector Jennifer McKinnon, from WPS’s major crimes division, told reporters Mr. Felix was “known to police.” At the time of the alleged shootings, the 32-year-old suspect was free on a “court release,” she said.
“Making this arrest, I think, should give the community of West Broadway some relief,” Insp. McKinnon said. She encouraged Winnipeg residents to lean on each other for support in the wake of the mass shooting. Police did not provide details about a potential motive. The police force does not have any other suspects, Insp. McKinnon said.
“This has been a stressful time for not only the Winnipeg Police Service, but the entire city,” she said.
Mr. Felix could not be reached for comment. None of the allegations have been tested in court. He lives in Winnipeg, police said.
Provincial court records show Mr. Felix was on two years supervised probation for an assault that occurred in August, 2021.
He was at the same apartment building as a man who was causing a disturbance and later found injured at the bottom of a landing, a sentencing hearing for Mr. Felix detailed.
The man spent nine days in the hospital and was treated for a skull fracture and mild abrasions on his face. He was unable to provide police with information relating to the fall because of memory loss and being inebriated at the time.
The sentencing hearing was told Mr. Felix turned himself into police two days later.
During the sentencing, he accepted responsibility for his role but the hearing didn’t go into detail about what that was.
“I am sorry for everything I did. I should have handled it in a better way,” Mr. Felix told the judge.
The hearing noted Mr. Felix had no prior criminal record. He had served in the military for several years, working his way up to corporal, and co-operated with police during the assault investigation.
It was also brought up that Mr. Felix struggled with substance abuse issues earlier in his life and was seeking addictions treatment. The judge recognized Mr. Felix had taken steps to address underlying issues and had shown growth.
Mr. Felix was given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to assault causing bodily harm. Along with supervised probation, he was to complete counselling and banned from having weapons.
Jenny Hart went to high school with Mr. Felix and last saw him about a year ago. She said he spiralled after his twin brother, Johnathan Felix, was shot and killed on March 31, 2012. The surviving twin, Ms. Hart said, turned to drugs and alcohol to cope.
“But he really got his life back on track,” she said. Ms. Hart was taken aback when she learned Mr. Felix was charged with murder, given his experience with his brother’s death.
“I can’t fathom him taking someone else’s life knowing the pain that caused him,” she said.
On Friday, Insp. McKinnon said it was too early to say whether Mr. Felix knew the people he allegedly shot. When asked whether the firearm had been recovered, she said, “We are still working through this.”
Police allege Mr. Felix killed sisters Crystal Beardy and Stephanie Beardy, who were 34 and 33, respectively. WPS also accused Mr. Felix of killing Melelek Lesikel, 29; and Dylan Lavallee, 41. Police did not comment on why the victims were at the location where they were shot or their relation to each other.
Mr. Lesikel’s family is fundraising to repatriate his remains to Kenya. He was studying at the University of Manitoba, according to a post on social media.
“Our beloved Mele was gunned down in a senseless act of violence on Sunday morning, taking from us a most kind, joyful, beautiful soul, who found great joy in sharing funny stories, caring for animals, and most of all, loving his Mum and family,” his family wrote on their GoFundMe page.
The fifth gunshot victim, a 55-year-old man, remains in hospital in “very critical condition,” Insp. McKinnon said.
With a report from The Canadian Press