A three-year old First Nations boy is in critical condition in a Winnipeg hospital after police found the toddler suffering from multiple stab wounds on Wednesday morning.
Police arrested and charged Daniel Jansen, 33, with multiple offences including attempted murder and assault causing bodily harm.
He was taken into custody as of 4 p.m. the same day.
Officers were called to a home in the city’s North End around 2:30 a.m. when they found the boy.
The toddler was transferred to a Winnipeg hospital where he remains.
APTN News is not identifying the boy or the family to protect the child’s identity.
During a press conference on Thursday, Cst. Jay Murray said the accused attacked the boy’s mother at a separate address before he went to the home.
“Investigators believe that the suspect had been in the company of the child’s mother… when she was assaulted. The suspect then attended the Pritchard Avenue residence and the child was attacked before the suspect fled,” Murray told media.
The mother and Jensen were in an on and off again relationship, according to Murray. He added Jensen is not the boy’s biological father.
Court documents show Jensen was out on bail stemming from an incident three months prior.
Jensen had a no contact order with the mother after he allegedly assaulted her with a weapon on July 20.
He was ordered to not contact her by telephone, mail or email, and to stay at least 200 metres away from her home, workplace and school.
Jensen is facing four criminal charges in connection to this incident.
Murray said police have yet to determine a motive for the attacks.
“It’s inconceivable to think that somebody would target an innocent child probably one that was attempting to sleep at that time of night,” he said.
“I think a lot of people are having a hard time grasping that somebody would be capable of doing something like this.”
Community members gathered outside Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre, Wednesday evening, to send prayers and love to the family.
Jennifer Spence-Clarke organized the event with her husband.
She says she was moved to do something after hearing about the attack.
“This is the catalyst for change. Things need to change in our community especially in the inner city and I hope that we can do it in a good way,” said Spence-Clarke.
“We can’t fight violence with violence.”
Wednesday’s incident is one of five vicious acts of violence to occur in the past five days.
Jakira Eastman-Moore, 14, was stabbed to death at a house party Saturday evening. An 18-year-old female was also stabbed but survived.
On Sunday, police found two injured males in a back lane in the city’s Centennial area. Both were transferred to hospital where they died.
Also on Sunday a male went into a home in the North End and fired a shotgun injuring four people including a baby.
Shortly before Thursday’s press conference police found an injured man outside a home in the West End. He died late Thursday morning.
These events, along with the assaults on the toddler, have Manitoba NDP calling on all levels of government to address the violence.
They are hosting a community forum next week.
“Here’s an opportunity for all of us to come together to listen to community members who are in the thick of what’s going on. Here’s an opportunity for all of us to come together to listen and have a community lead approach on what we need to do in respect of having safe and healthy communities,” said Nahanni Fontaine, MLA for St. Johns.
Manitoba NDP addressed the ongoing violence in Winnipeg
The recent events have the city on edge and grassroots organizations are desperately trying to find solutions.
James Favel, executive director of the Bear Clan Patrol, says frustration breeds violence.
He adds violence has root causes, “it’s related to poverty, it’s related to the stress of living in crisis mode for so long, it’s related to the meth epidemic that’s happening in our city.”
Thursday’s incident marks the 37th homicide of the year. The highest was 41 in 2011.