A 19-year-old woman has been charged with manslaughter in the death of a 12-year-old boy killed in a violent altercation last Friday in Winnipeg.
The Winnipeg Police Service announced the 19-year-old’s arrest on Tuesday. They have not released her name and say they are still investigating Friday’s fatal stabbing.
The child who was killed has been identified by family as Sanchez Boulanger.
Few details have been provided so far on the killing, which police have called “exceptionally troubling.”
Last Friday night, two groups were involved in an altercation on Burrows Avenue near Main Street, in north Winnipeg’s William Whyte neighbourhood, where the boy was stabbed, police say.
An off-duty nurse who police described as a Good Samaritan helped officers care for the boy until an ambulance arrived, around 7:20 p.m. The boy was rushed to hospital, where he died.
It is not known whether the two groups knew each other, but police don’t believe the incident is gang-related.
Some details may not be made public until the case makes its way through the court system, Const. Jay Murray said at a Saturday media briefing.
Sanchez Boulanger’s mother, Joni Gabriel, has described her son as a caring boy with a kind heart.
A Grade 7 student at Niji Makhwa School in Winnipeg, he liked playing the Fortnite video game, listening to rap music and talking with his friends online.
“He was a good boy, and I just feel like he should have never died that young,” Gabriel said in an interview on Monday.
She said she “worried all the time for him” as he was getting bullied online and spending time with the wrong crowd.
According to court documents, the woman charged in the boy’s death was released from custody on Tuesday. She is required to attend all court appearances and cannot possess any weapons, and is prohibited from contacting a number of people.
Sanchez’s family has been shaken by tragedy.
In March 2019, his uncle, 38-year-old John Gabriel, was assaulted and died of his injuries. A second-degree murder charge has been laid in his death.
Homicides involving such young victims are rare. Sanchez is the youngest person to die by homicide in Manitoba this year. Winnipeg has recorded 18 homicides in 2021, 11 of which have occurred in just over a month.
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