Manslaughter charge laid in fatal stabbing of 12-year-old boy

A woman has been charged with manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of a 12-year-old boy killed in a violent altercation.

The 19-year-old woman has been charged in relation to the homicide, the Winnipeg Police Service announced on Tuesday.

The child has been identified by family as Sanchez Boulanger. Police have not named the accused. 

Few details have been provided so far on the stabbing, which police call “exceptionally troubling.”

Last Friday night, two groups got into an altercation on Burrows Avenue in north-central Winnipeg, near Main Street, where the boy was stabbed, police say.

An off-duty nurse who police described as a Good Samaritan helped officers care for the boy until an ambulance arrived, around 7:20 p.m. The boy was rushed to hospital, where he died.

It is not known whether the two groups knew each other, but police believe the incident isn’t gang-related.

Sanchez Boulanger was killed Friday night after being stabbed on Burrows Avenue, near Main Street. (Submitted by Joni Gabriel)

Some details may not be made public until the case makes its way through the court system, Const. Jay Murray said at a weekend media briefing.

Boulanger’s mother, Joni Gabriel, has described her son as a caring boy with a kind heart.

A Grade 7 student at Niji Makhwa School in Winnipeg, he liked playing the Fortnite video game, listening to rap music and talking with his friends online. 

“He was a good boy, and I just feel like he should have never died that young, for a 12-year-old,” she said in an interview on Monday. 

She said she “worried all the time for him” as he was getting bullied online and spending time with the wrong crowd. 

Gabriel’s family has been shaken by tragedy.

In March 2019, her brother, 38-year-old John Gabriel, was assaulted and died of his injuries. A second-degree murder charge has been laid in his death. 

Homicides involving such young victims are rare. Boulanger is the youngest person to die by homicide this year. Winnipeg has recorded 18 homicides in 2021, 11 of which have occurred in just over a month.