02/01/2014 12:18 EST | Updated 04/03/2014 05:59 EDT

Canadian Shot In Dominican Republic As Manitoba Students Watch

Peeter Viisimaa via Getty Images
A group of Manitoba students has returned early from a trip to the Dominican Republic, after some of them witnessed a violent break-in and shooting that sent a Canadian man to hospital in the Caribbean country.

Dominican police confirmed Saturday that a Canadian who has permanent residency in the country was shot in a violent break-in on Thursday night, a day after the group of students had arrived to help out at a local orphanage.

Captain José Callado told CBC News the victim owns a hostel, condo, and hotel complex where the students were staying.

He said the victim is in critical but stable condition after being shot, and that police are looking for two suspects.

In Winnipeg, there were tears and relief as the Manitoba students returned home early Saturday morning.

The 18 high-school students from St. Jean Baptiste and Ste. Anne arrived back in Winnipeg at around 5 a.m.

Their trip was cut short when some of them witnessed the break-in and shooting at their compound in Puerto Plata.

Alain Laberge, superintendant of the Franco-Manitoban School Division, was at Winnipeg's James Richardson International Airport to welcome the travellers home.

He said the students and their eight chaperones are fine.

Laberge said the school division has been organizing the trip for the last three to four years and it's unclear at this point whether it will continue.

"You could go to an outing here in Winnipeg and something like this could happen," he said on Saturday."You never know. So we never want to say we'll never do that again, but we have to see what happened."

Leberge said grief counsellors will be at the schools on Monday to speak with the students.

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