A Winnipeg man was attending Canada Day celebrations at The Forks when he was shot in the head by the same teen he confronted hours earlier with a can of bear spray, he told a Winnipeg court Monday.

A Winnipeg man was attending Canada Day celebrations at The Forks when he was shot in the head by the same teen he confronted hours earlier with a can of bear spray, he told a Winnipeg court Monday.

Gordon McGinty said he had just sat down on the grass near the outdoor stage area when a friend told him he thought he saw a couple of teens they had a run-in with earlier in the day.

"Less than a minute later, someone walked up to me and (tapped a rifle barrel) to my head," McGinty said.

"I looked at that kid there," McGinty said, nodding toward the now 15-year-old accused sitting in the prisoner’s box, "holding that gun at my head. He said: ‘What’s up now?’ and called me a ‘bitch.’"

Prosecutors allege McGinty is one of four people shot by the accused and a now 16-year-old co-accused during a spate of random attacks spanning nearly 24 hours on July 1-2, 2020. One of the victims, 27-year-old Danielle Cote, was shot and killed, allegedly because she witnessed the two accused shooting her cousin seconds earlier.

McGinty said he heard someone say, "Shoot him already," before he was shot through the left ear.

"It was like someone rang a big bell by my head and hit me with something," he said.

McGinty spent 13 days recovering in hospital and is nearly deaf in one ear. McGinty said 14 shell fragments remain lodged in his neck, including one "dangerously close… to the top of my spine."

Victim, accused have exchange earlier in the day: testimony

McGinty said he and a friend were walking by an apartment building on Kennedy Street earlier that day when he saw the boy who shot him outside with a few other teens, including a girl with a green bicycle.

"I asked to buy the bike, she said, ‘Mind your own f——— business," McGinty said.

McGinty and his friend walked to a nearby hotel to buy some beer and when they returned the same way a few minutes later, saw the 15-year-old accused brandishing a rifle.

"It was in a pack sack and he like showed it to me," McGinty said. At the same time, the girl with the bicycle pulled a can of bear mace from her bag, he said.

"I took it from her and sprayed them," he said. "I threw (the can) down and walked away."

The girl testified earlier in the day, telling court McGinty was the one who brought the bear spray.

She said McGinty became angry after she rebuffed his offer to buy her bicycle and started threatening the teens.

"He was getting pretty angry and in our faces," the girl testified. "I said, ‘What are you doing, leave us alone, we’re just kids.’"

She said when McGinty, who she did not identify by name, returned from the beer store, he came straight toward her and sprayed her "head to toe" with the bear repellent, before leaving with her bike.

Accused present when police shot Eishia Hudson: testimony

The teen told court the older accused was her boyfriend at the time, and the father of their now two-year-old child. The girl said the boy’s life had been in a downward spiral since the April 8, 2020 shooting death of Eishia Hudson. The boy was among four passengers present when Hudson was shot by police following a high-speed chase in a stolen SUV.

"He was using more drugs and alcohol and spending less time with me and his child," she said.

The girl said she got a call from the boy around midnight, about the same time court heard McGinty was shot.

"It sounded like he was running, he was outside," she said. "He said look in the news tomorrow, tells me he loves me and hangs up."

dean.pritchard@freepress.mb.ca

Dean Pritchard

Dean Pritchard
Courts reporter

Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.