Man shot dead by Winnipeg police after chase had ‘troubled’ past, was in and out of jail: family

A man shot to death by Winnipeg police this week had been released from jail just months earlier and was celebrating with a friend, who investigators say led police on a cross-border manhunt before being captured in Saskatchewan.

In a March photo posted on his Facebook page, Tristan Mariash, 30, is seen toasting with David Frank Burling, 29, with the caption “feels good to be out.” A video Mariash posted about a week ago with both men refers to the two as “brothers.”

Family confirmed Mariash was the man who died after being shot following a police pursuit across a swath of southern Manitoba early Wednesday morning.

“There’s such little information,” his father, Cory Krivoshea, told CBC News on Friday. “There’s so many questions.… Nobody should’ve died for running from the police.

Winnipeg police began the pursuit shortly after midnight Wednesday, when they spotted a pickup truck that had been reported stolen in the west end of the city.

Two men in white garments look through a tarped off truck.
Police investigators examine a tarped off truck at a Shell gas station in Niverville on Wednesday morning. Police said a man, who family has confirmed was Mariash, was found wounded in the truck and died before an ambulance arrived. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

The police service’s helicopter tracked the Ford F-350 for about an hour, before it ended up in Otterburne, south of Winnipeg, where a police cruiser was rammed by the stolen vehicle. An “engagement” followed, in which police fired their guns, and the suspects fled in the truck, Winnipeg police said.

The chase led police north to a gas station in Niverville around 3 a.m., where the driver of the stolen truck got into another vehicle and fled.

Mariash was found inside the Ford with a gunshot wound. Winnipeg police said he died from his injuries before an ambulance arrived.

Following the shooting, a search ensued for Burling that led RCMP to the area of Springside, Sask., just northwest of the city of Yorkton, where they arrested him.

Long criminal records

Both men have lengthy criminal records.

Court records show Burling had five convictions for fleeing from police in the past, including once in 2022 for an incident in the Portage la Prairie area. He just finished his sentence in that incident earlier this year.

Mariash’s record included property and driving offences.

He had pleaded guilty to fleeing from a peace officer and assault with a weapon in April 2020, and to weapons and ammunition possession offences stemming from an incident in mid-March 2022, court documents show.

A man in a grey shirt poses with his hands clasped at his waste.
Mariash ‘had a good heart, but he was troubled,’ his father says. (Tristan Mariash/Facebook)

During a sentencing hearing last year, his lawyer, Tara Walker, said that Mariash lived with diagnosed intellectual disabilities and was on employment and income assistance.

She also said Mariash had become the sole caregiver to his mother. His father was in and out of his life from the time Mariash was 10 on, but was never involved as a caregiver.

His mother had been diagnosed as terminally ill when Mariash was in Grade 5. By the time he was in Grade 9, his mother was completely wheelchair-bound.

The lawyer said he dropped out of school in Grade 10 to take care of her. CFS was involved early on, but then dropped off from assisting him, Walker said.

His mother died in 2014, when he was 19 or 20 years old. 

“I took it hard when my mom passed away,” Mariash, 29 at the time, told court during his sentencing.

The lawyer said he later got involved with a group of friends who used drugs.

“Mr. Mariash is wanting to get out of the system. He’s at the age where he doesn’t want to keep coming back,” Walker told the judge. “He recognizes that this is kind of a turning point for him.”

‘Had a good heart’: father

Krivoshea said his son “had a good heart, but he was troubled,” and was in and out of juvenile detention and jail, he said.

“Basically, he was a good kid, but he had his problems.”

Tristan’s cousin Stephen Mariash echoed Krivoshea, saying Tristan was “troubled” but tried to turn his life around when he got out of jail.

“He loved his family and friends so much,” Stephen said in a message to CBC News. “It’s going to be hard with him not around. He will never be forgotten.”

A police car with bullet holes in the windshield.
A Winnipeg police cruiser with bullet holes in the windshield is parked at the side of the highway south of Niverville on Wednesday morning. The Independent Investigation Unit, which investigates all serious incidents involving police, is investigating Mariash’s shooting. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)

The Independent Investigation Unit, which investigates all serious incidents involving police, has taken over the case.

Apart from confirming his son is dead, Krivoshea said he still hasn’t received much information from investigators.

“They told me absolutely nothing,” he said. “I want to know what happened.”