A baseball diamond became a crime scene at Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shot what witnesses said was an unarmed man at a children’s baseball game on Sunday afternoon.
Wounded in the shoulder, 20-year-old Evan Cromarty was flown to a Winnipeg hospital, where he was listed in stable condition, Norway House Cree Chief Ron Evans told the Winnipeg Free Press on Sunday July 20.
Details are still sketchy as to why the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on July 20. said it was not clear why Cromarty was fired upon, as he had raised his arms. The RCMP confirmed the shooting but would not release more details, citing the pending investigation.
“I seen this one cop run across the field and this guy was walking on the other side,” said witness Eric Ettawacappow to CBC News. “They were trying to tell him to stop then that guy turned around lifted up his arms and they shot him.”
Ettawacappow told CBC News he heard four shots and that several children were among the witnesses.
“There's a hundred, maybe 200 people out here," he said, while Evans put the number at closer to 300.
Witness Annie Ettawacappow told the Winnipeg Free Press that she walked outside her house, hearing sirens, just as the events unfolded.
"I was watching and he was running toward the field,” Ettawacappow told the newspaper, adding that she then saw two police cruisers arrive and two officers emerge with their weapons already out. Cromarty put up his hands, she said, and was unarmed. Police told him to freeze, but he continued walking backward.
Tensions are running even higher between the RCMP and the 8,000-population community’s First Nations people as a result of the shooting, Evans told CTV News. Norway House Cree Nation is about 310 miles north of Winnipeg.
"Our people are in shock and angry," Evans told the Winnipeg Free Press.