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Winnipeg Police Service


News Room – Inside the Winnipeg Police Service

Remembering Fallen Member Len Shakespeare

Cst. Len ShakespeareJuly 18, 2017 - Today we take time to remember Const. Len Shakespeare who was tragically taken from us in the course of his duties on this date in 1969.

It was a warm summer night on July 18, 1969, when Const. Shakespeare and his partner Const. Lyn Giles were dispatched to the Loco-Mart Store on Provencher Avenue at seven minutes before 11 p.m. They were responding to a silent alarm from the St. Boniface-area business.

When they arrived, they witnessed the final moments of an armed robbery in progress involving four suspects. Three of the perpetrators fled the scene. One opted to stay and fight - with deadly consequences.

The suspect began shooting at the officers and they returned fire.

Const. Shakespeare was mortally wounded when he was struck twice in the left shoulder area.  One of the shots glanced off a bone and pierced his heart.  While exchanging shots with Const. Giles, the suspect's gun, appeared to jam and he started to run.  He was chased and tackled by Giles and as Giles straddled him, the suspect continued to pull the trigger.  He was knocked into submission and with the assistance of another officer, the suspect was taken into custody.  The  revolver was found to contain one live shell.

WPS ColoursA massive manhunt eventually led to the arrest of a second suspect near the riverbank of the Seine River. Two others later turned themselves in to police.

All four suspects were charged with Capital Murder but onlythe shooter was convicted and sentenced to hang.  That sentence was later commuted to life in prison.  The other three were convicted of non-capital murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Const. Shakespeare was the sixth Winnipeg Police Service officer to fall in the line of duty. He was survived by his wife Marion and their two children - a two-year- old son and a three-month-old daughter.

Const. Shakespeare's sacrifice will be forever remembered in the Winnipeg Police Colours, which hang proudly in the lobby of the Winnipeg Police Service Headquarters.

There is also a display in the Winnipeg Police Museum dedicated to Const. Len Shakespeare.

A more detailed account of the event of this day in 1969 can be found here.


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