Winnipeg police stumble across murder suspect while executing warrant, setting off hours-long standoff

When officers showed up with warrants for two men at a West End house late Saturday morning, it was a stroke of luck that there was also a third man inside — a murder suspect they’d been chasing since January.

Just over a month ago, police asked for help finding Jesse James Daher, 28, who was wanted for second-degree murder in the death of Mohamed Mohiadin Ahmed, whose body they said was pulled from the Red River after a dog walker came across it on Thanksgiving morning.

Police said at the time they believed Ahmed, 29, was killed at a residence in the Fort Garry area several days before his body was discovered in the water.

Shortly after 11 a.m. on Saturday, officers arrived at the McGee Street house to arrest two 37-year-old men for offences that included probation violations, Winnipeg Police Service spokesperson Const. Jay Murray said at a Sunday news conference.

They soon realized Daher was also inside.

One of the 37-year-old men came out right away. But when officers realized the second man wasn’t coming out — and neither was Daher — it set off an hours-long standoff to arrest the two men, who Murray said police believed may have been armed.

“This can be a very methodical process. It can be incredibly tough to pull somebody out of a residence that you think might be armed with a firearm, is refusing to come out and is actively hiding,” Murray said.

“In this case [they were hiding] in the attic, which is quite a small area, not one that you can easily access. There’s an incredible liability for police.”

Officers, cruiser cars and an armoured vehicle surrounded the house as the crisis negotiation unit helped police make contact with the two men, Murray said. It was almost 7 p.m. by the time they finally came out and surrendered.

Both men were arrested. Daher was also charged in connection with a January pellet gun shooting of a female acquaintance, which Murray said police believe is somehow related to Ahmed’s death — though he did not provide further details, and police had not publicly mentioned the shooting until Sunday.

Police later found a loaded, sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition inside the McGee Street house, Murray said. All three men were charged with a slew of weapons-related offences.

Earlier this month, police also asked for help finding a second man they believe was involved in Ahmed’s death.

Evan Daniel Bill Brightnose-Baker, 21, is still wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for second-degree murder and is considered armed and dangerous, Murray said.

While it’s possible Brightnose-Baker has left the city, Murray said police believe it’s likely the 21-year-old is still in Winnipeg.

He said police don’t believe the other two men arrested on Saturday were involved in Ahmed’s death.

Jesse James Daher (right) was arrested on Saturday. Evan Daniel Bill Brightnose-Baker (left) is still at large, though police believe he is likely still in Winnipeg. Both men are accused of second-degree murder in the October death of Mohamed Mohiadin Ahmed. (Submitted by Winnipeg Police Service)

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