WINNIPEG – NEWS – An incident in Winnipeg on Thursday resulted in a major traffic jam and delays as police and fire crews responded to the incident. As a result, a man is in custody with a full load of charges, and a family home has been destroyed by fire.
Here are the details, on May 23, 2019, at approximately 1:15 pm, East District General Patrol officers responded to a firearm-related incident at a residence in the Chalmers area.
At approximately 1:45 p.m., a vehicle was involved in a collision on the Nairn Overpass, and a male suspect fled on foot. A short time later, the male was observed to enter a residence in the 400 block of Nairn Avenue and made a threat to shoot officers.
Members of the Tactical Support Team arrived a short time later and began to treat the incident as an armed and barricaded situation. Throughout the course of the afternoon and evening, three individuals were safely removed from the residence.
At approximately 8:10 p.m., officers observed a fire within the residence that quickly became well involved. Tactical Support Team officers approached the house while it was on fire and forced entry to a fortified window to grab hold of the male suspect and pull him to safety.
Update: The male suspect was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons and was treated for smoke inhalation. He was later transported to the Winnipeg Police Service HQ where members of the Major Crimes Unit continued with the investigation.
It is believed that the male suspect was involved in several matters before the incident in the 400 block of Nairn Avenue.
On May 14, 2019, at approximately 3:30 am, a 28-year-old male was carjacked of his vehicle in the area of Cavalier Drive and Portage Avenue.
Sometime between May 21 and May 23, 2019, licence plates were stolen from a vehicle in the 400 block of Talbot Avenue.
On May 23, 2019, at approximately 1:15 pm, officers responded to a firearm-related incident at a residence in the Chalmers area that may have involved the male suspect.
On May 23, 2019, at approximately 1:42 pm, a male suspect attended a store in the 900 block of Nairn Avenue where he stole approximately $330 in merchandise.
At approximately 1:45 pm, the male suspect was operating the stolen vehicle, with the stolen licence plates affixed to it, in the area of the Nairn Overpass. The male was driving at a high rate of speed, running traffic signal devices and travelling in an oncoming lane prior to colliding with another vehicle on the overpass. These actions were observed by officers who had already been in the area for the firearms-related incident.
The male fled from officers who gave chase. At one point, the male turned to the officers, grabbed at his waistband and told them that he would shoot them. He then ran uninvited into a residence in the 400 block of Nairn Avenue which was occupied by four adults.
One adult fled the residence soon after; however, members of the Tactical Support Team were utilized to remove the three remaining individuals from the residence safely.
The male suspect proceeded to remain in the house and refused to exit for approximately 6 hours and 30 minutes. During this time, numerous police resources were deployed to the area to ensure the safety of the public.
At approximately 8:10 pm, the male suspect started a fire inside the residence that quickly spread through the main and second floors. Officers could hear the male yelling for help and saying that he was burning alive. Members of the Tactical Support Team approached the residence and broke a window with metal security bars to remove the male and pull him to safety.
The fire-damaged house was deemed a total loss and it is believed that a cat may have perished in the fire. Damages are estimated at $100,000.
Gordon William Kovich, a 29-year-old male of Winnipeg, has been charged with:
– Break Enter & Commit – Dwelling House
– Arson Causing Damage to Property
– Uttering Threats – Cause Death or Bodily Harm (x2)
– Fail to Comply with Probation Order
– Dangerous Operation of a Conveyance
– Operation of a Conveyance While Prohibited
– Fail to Stop at Scene of Accident
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000
– Theft Under $5000
He was also processed on outstanding arrest warrants for charges that include:
– Fail to Comply with Probation Order (x2)
– Fail to Comply Condition Recognizance by Judge/Justice (x7)
– Fail to Attend Court – Recognizance by Judge/Justice
– Public Mischief
Kovich was detained in custody.