Regina shooting victim speaks out on increase in gun crimes
Published Thursday, October 13, 2016 10:15AM CST
Garren Bigeagle, 33, hasn’t always needed a wheelchair.
“Everything changed. Everything is changing,” said Bigeagle.
He was shot at his home in a few months ago, and still isn’t certain who committed the crime.
He is one of 26 shooting victims in Regina this year, and is concerned with how gun crime is being handled in the community – especially among youth.
“Nowadays , it’s not, it’s going downhill. Like, I see everything going downhill and it’s just going to be worse and worse until the big guys step in,” he said.
The latest Regina Crime statistics indicate 74 violent offenses involving firearms between January and August of this year, compared to 56 in the same time frame in 2015.
Twenty-six people were injured by firearms in the first eight months of 2016, compared to 11 the year before – which equals to an increase of 106 per cent.
Kim Sutherland, founding CEO of Street Culture, deals with youth and gun crime and said he admits he expected the spike in incidents.
“It’s going to get worse – much, much worse -- because, the underlying issues aren’t changing. Because there is no community leadership,” said Sutherland. “They isolate a symptom and it’s now coming back on us.”
The Regina Police Service said they’ve noticed a sharp increase in firarm offenses related to drug addiction and hope to work with community groups to solve the problem.
“This police service is a team, all striving for the same goal. We owe it to the community,” said Evan Bray, Regina Police Service chief of police.
“We owe it to our members to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to keep everyone safe, And, do what we can to prevent things from getting worse,” he said.
Bigeagle knows police are doing what they can. But, said parents should speak to their children who might be exposed to this type of violence.
“Why be proud of something like that? You know, it’s a negative affect for everyone involved, and even the shooter,” said Bigeagle.
Doctors told Bigeagle he will eventually walk again. But, for now he hopes the community will stand up against gun crime.