“They sent their son here to study, now he has to return home in a coffin” Man shot dead by police in Canada identified as 19-year-old Nigerian student

“They sent their son here to study, now he has to return home in a coffin” Man shot dead by police in Canada identified as 19-year-old Nigerian student

The young man shot dead by Winnipeg police on New Year's Eve has been identified as 19-year-old Nigerian student Afolabi Stephen Opaso.

Opaso was an international student studying economics at the University of Manitoba, according to Jean-René-Dominique Kwilu, a Winnipeg lawyer who was assisting the deceased's family.

Winnipeg police reported the shooting to the Manitoba Independent Investigative Unit (IIU) hours after it happened, on December 31, around 2:20 p.m.

Police were called to an apartment in the 100 first block of University Crescent for reports of a man acting erratically. The IIU said two officers responded and found three people inside the suite.

Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth told reporters Monday that one of the people, a 19-year-old man, was armed with two knives. Smyth said the officers “were involved in a use of force encounter” and one of them shot the man.

Police said the man was taken to hospital in critical condition, where he died from his injuries. The other two people in the suite were not injured.

Kwilu, said that according to witnesses he spoke with, Opaso was having a mental health episode when one of the people in the suite called 911.

“They made a point of saying that this was a mental health situation, that the person is their friend, you know, not a danger to anyone. It’s just that they needed help,” Kwilu told CTV News.

“At this time, there is no indication that Afolabi attacked the police or anything like that.”

Kwilu said Opaso's family, none of whom are in Winnipeg, are shocked and traumatized.

“They sent their son here to study, now he has to come home in a coffin,” he said.

Kwilu said Opaso's family has questions about how the situation was handled by police and wants to know why a mental health call ended in Opaso's death.

The IIU is investigating the shooting and asking anyone with information to contact investigators. He said he will ask the Manitoba Police Commission to appoint a civilian monitor as the matter involves a death. The IIU said no additional details will be provided at this time.

Source: www.lindaikejisblog.com

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