by Rhia Alcantara, ABS-CBN NEWS
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA — The Filipino community in Winnipeg is once again shaken, this time by a crime that lead to the death of 53-year-old Joselito Fernandez.
He was pronounced dead in hospital after being found shot in the area of Selkirk Avenue on April 18th.
After weeks of waiting since the incident, family and friends were finally able to see Fernandez for the first time at the wake held last Friday.
“4 weeks I didn’t see him he said he’s going to Ontario with a friend… so we are assuming that he is in Ontario, that’s why were double shock when we hear that he’s the one who got killed…. Just think about it when you have someone close to you this is the first time that you experience it and up to now, that there’s a sharp knife that’s stuck in your chest that you can’t do anything about it,” said his sister Melinda.
Joselito just finished his shift as a dishwasher at McPhillips Station Casino and was on his way home.
“Normally, he finish work at 1:30 in the morning and the bus is limited so normally he walks with his backpack and going home, and he was going home that night for some reason they’ve seen him I guess and confront him… He got shot blank on the upper chest.”
Joselito’s brutal death happened just over a month after what happened to 17-year-old Jaime “Jimboy” Adao, who died from being attacked inside their house by an intruder.
Many Filipinos are worried about safety in the city, and are pleading for justice.
As part of local efforts, many kababayans initiated watch groups, volunteering and patrolling to boost safety in different areas in the city.
“There are concerned groups that also stepped up and decided to do patrolling and decided to keep their lines open in case there’s a kababayan who would need their help. The person was apprehended, but we feel that somehow the system failed us,” said Leila Castro.”We feel that it’s not enough and there’ll be more victims if change doesn’t happen.”
As of last week, A 16-year-old Winnipeg teenager has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the incident, as well as charges of failure to comply with conditions and possession of a firearm/ammunition despite a prohibition order.