Two teens face charges for Indigenous woman’s death and string of assaults

WINNIPEG — A 15-year-old boy has been arrested and a Canada-wide warrant issued for another teen in the death of an Indigenous woman that police say was connected to a spree of assaults in Winnipeg earlier this week.

The two teenagers are to be charged with second-degree murder for the death of 36-year-old Danielle Dawn Ballantyne.

Ballantyne was found dead in an apartment in the Point Douglas area Monday morning.

Const. Dani McKinnon of the Winnipeg Police Service says investigators believe the killing is connected to the assaults of three men in their 50s that took place in the neighbourhood earlier that morning.

Two of the men remain in critical condition.

McKinnon says police believe they were all random attacks and other people may have been targeted.

“Investigators believe there are potentially other victims who have been assaulted and have not met with police,” McKinnon said Thursday.

Police were first called early in the morning for a seriously injured man in a parking lot beside an apartment building. About 30 minutes later, patrol officers found another seriously injured man at the rear of a nearby hotel.

Police were in the area investigating when officers were flagged down again by an injured man who said he, too, had been assaulted, McKinnon said.

The teenagers have also been charged with two counts of aggravated assault. They have are not facing charges for the final assault, McKinnon said, but police believe it is related.

McKinnon said the investigation is ongoing and there could be more arrests. Police are investigating a possible motive, she said, including whether gang initiations played a role.

McKinnon said there is a large population of displaced, vulnerable or homeless people in the area. But she would not say if police believed they were being targeted in the attacks.

The assaults and killing have shaken the community, McKinnon said, and additional police officers continue to patrol the area.

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