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Father in shock RCMP shot his son in Norway House

07/21/2014 07:45 EDT | Updated 09/20/2014 05:59 EDT
The father of a man shot by RCMP in Norway House yesterday is in shock and can't understand why this happened.

Brian Cromarty, the father of the man who was shot, told CBC he has no idea why police would shoot his son Evan Cromarty and his faith in the force is shaken. 

"I was in total shock and you know I still am," he said. "I haven't slept well all night and I was very, very, very upset I guess. Not in anger, just not knowing what had just happened."

Cromarty is also worried about his other son, 9, who witnessed the shooting. He said the child is traumatized.

"You couldn't help him stop crying because he was in shock you know," he said. "He just saw his brother get shot. Last night, as he went to bed, my son told me 'I can't sleep, Dad. This thing keeps coming into my mind.'" 

Manitoba Justice has ordered an independent special investigations unit to look into the shooting of Cromarty, 20.

The special unit, from Alberta, is heading to Norway House Cree Nation to look into the matter, which happened Sunday during a baseball tournament in the community.

Witnesses told CBC News the man, Evan Cromarty, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, appeared to be unarmed and was holding his arms up when a Mountie shot at him.

​“I seen this one cop run across the field and this guy was walking on the other side. They were trying to tell him to stop then that guy turned around lifted up his arms and they shot him,” said Eric Ettawacappo, who said he heard four shots.

​He was among many, including several children, who saw it happen.

“There's a hundred maybe 200 people out here," he said. "And everybody saw that — not just me. A whole bunch of us saw that and the kids were traumatized."

It's unclear why the man was shot. 

RCMP confirmed the shooting took place and RCMP officials met Monday afternoon in Winnipeg with Norway House Chief Ron Evans.

"The meeting was positive, and concerns regarding the event and the relationship between the community and the police were discussed. The RCMP values the relationships it has with the communities it polices, and the Force will continue to focus on those valued partnerships," according to an RCMP press release.

Norway House Chief Ron Evans said the shooting has escalated tensions between RCMP and First Nations people in the community, located about 500 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

Evans said whatever the explanation is, he believes the situation was mishandled.

"It's no wonder people were angry and they were shocked and young kids are traumatized," he said. "Even right now. And so obviously something needs to be done."

Premier Greg Selinger spoke with Evans on Sunday night about ordering the special investigation unit to look into the matter.

Evan Cromarty remains in hospital and was scheduled for surgery Monday. 

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