David Vincett, 20, was walking home from a friend’s house down Winnipeg’s Boyd Street in the early hours of Sept. 25, when a 14-year-old boy, now charged with murder, allegedly shot him in the head from point-blank range. Now Vincett’s mother, Linda Kozlowski, is speaking out. Her son was no model—he had several run-ins with the police. She calls for thugs to stop shooting, parents to take control of their violent sons, and judges and politicians to toughen up penalties for young offenders. The teen charged in Vincett’s death, possibly a member of a street gang, was recently released from jail after shooting at a postal worker last year. The boy, just 13 at the time, demanded money and pepper spray from the letter carrier, then pulled out a sawed-off shotgun, loaded it and fired. The mailman narrowly avoided being hit and got away uninjured. The youth spent about six months in custody, followed by three months of community supervision, followed by two years probation. “All these kids get are slaps on the wrist,” Kozlowski says. On Winnipeg’s cycle of street violence, she adds: “This has to stop. But it feels like we’re fighting a losing battle.”
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