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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Family upset after police link slain man to gangs

11:03 |


FAMILY of a man slain in a North End shooting said they're baffled why police would say the incident linked him to gangs. Police announced Tuesday they had yet to make an arrest in the shooting, which happened outside the Lincoln Motor Inn on McPhillips Street near Mountain Avenue. The city's 34th homicide of the year happened about 4:40 a.m. on Sunday, when a man in an SUV pulled up and fired a gun at a group of men who had left the hotel and were preparing to drive off. Killed in the shooting was Mohamed Ali Omar, a 28-year-old hospital cleaner and father of four described by his family as a loving father. A 17-year-old youth was also seriously injured in the attack. Omar Ali Omar, an older brother mourning Mohamed's death, said the two were close in age and grew up together. "(He was) my brother, my friend, my heart, my everything. I mean, half of me is missing right now," said Ali Omar, whose family moved to Canada from Somalia 18 years ago. "I will never, ever recover from this." He said his brother was a "popular guy," and knew a wide variety of people. "This boy was never gang-related," he said. "He was not associating (with) a gang... he just knows a lot of people, everybody loves him." Mohamed had four children aged nine, four, two and one, said a family friend. Police said the gunman who shot Mohamed is a black man with a stocky build and may have worn a hoodie. Police say both Mohamed and the 17-year-old victim had links to a city street gang, but Winnipeg Police Service spokeswoman Const. Natalie Aitken didn't elaborate. "That's always a tricky area for police when we're describing gang associations. I don't think we're prepared to go any further than stating that they do have associations to a local street gang," said Aitken. Meanwhile, the family of Mohamed gathered Tuesday to mourn his death and make funeral arrangements. The family said they were distraught over allegations around Mohamed's gang involvement, which they called a "slap in the face." "We are suffering," said Ahmed Omar, another older brother of Mohamed's, who said the victim bought a new house less than a year ago. "He was not linked to any gang. Whatever he did (in) the past as a young man has nothing to do with now. He was working, he was a family man, he was raising his children with his wife. He was a beloved man." Police said they're looking for information from the public on the shooter, as well as on the SUV. It may be a Lincoln Navigator, an early 2000 model, black or dark-coloured, with dark rims and tinted windows.

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