Family flocked to social media to honour and pay tribute to Eishia Hudson, 16, who was described as being a caring and devoted daughter.
In a post on Facebook, Christie Zebrasky, Hudson’s mother, wrote, “fly high my baby. May you rest in peace baby.”
“Eishia was a smart child. She never wanted to let me down,” Zebrasky told CTV Winnipeg.
Zebrasky last saw her daughter Wednesday morning. She said Hudson returned from sleeping over at a friend’s house the night before when she cleaned herself up before meeting with friends again.
“She said she would be back,” said Zebrasky.
Several hours later Zebrasky received a message from Hudson’s girlfriend claiming the teen was in trouble.
Shortly before 6 p.m. she was the victim of what police said was “an officer-involved shooting.”
Winnipeg police Chief Danny Smyth told reporters Thursday officers responded to a liquor store robbery in the south end of the city at 5:25 p.m. when five suspects, all 15 or 16-years-old, took off in a stolen vehicle.
“Several suspects had stolen alcohol while threatening to harm staff and fled in a stolen vehicle,” Smyth said.
“During the pursuit the stolen vehicle collided with several other vehicles before the pursuit ended at the intersection of Lagimodiere (Boulevard) and Fermor Avenue.”
When officers attempted to arrest the suspects police said Hudson was shot. She was transported to hospital where she later died.
There are no apparent injuries to other youth involved, police added.
This is the second time police have shot an Indigenous youth within the past five months.
A First Nations teen was shot in November during what police said was a botched robbery at a convenience store. That youth survived and was later charged with robbery and weapon possession.
During the press conference Thursday, Smyth was asked when police should use deadly force.
“When an officer fears for their own life or the life and safety of others,” he said.
The Independent Investigation Unit (IIU) of Manitoba is tasked with looking into the shootings. The watchdog group declined to provide further details citing the investigations.
This leaves a community and grieving mother with many unanswered questions.
“Why did they draw a gun on my daughter? Why’d they shoot?” Zebrasky asked.
Late Thursday, Zebrasky spoke with APTN News.
She said her daughter Eishia was “a bright teenager with a very, very huge heart. She loved all children.” And, she was blessed in the past year with four nieces and one nephew.
Four other teens in the vehicle are facing a slew of charges stemming from the alleged robbery, police said.
In a separate incident, police said an officer shot and killed a man in the city’s North End early Thursday morning at an alleged domestic incident.
Police said they responded to a 9-1-1 call at 5 a.m. When they arrived at the home they found a male with a gun, an injured woman and a teenage girl.
They said the girl was able to escape the house unharmed.
When the male exited the house police shot him.
The woman was sent to hospital for treatment.
The IIU is also investigating that shooting.
Updated: This story has been updated with comment from the victim’s mother.