Two days before a shooting at one of his properties, a Saskatoon landlord says he saw guns and drugs, and tried to put a stop to it.
“The night before the gunshot I saw a gun in the house, I saw drugs and I told them ‘You cannot do this inside the property, just go, please go.’ and they literally ignored me.”
Sid Choudhury owns a few rental properties in Saskatoon including a duplex in the 100 Block of Avenue K South, where an 18-year-old man was shot and killed just after midnight on Sunday.
He said he’s still thinking perhaps things would have played out differently if he alerted police about what he saw.
“If I would have called the cops that night I would have averted a murder, that’s all I can say and that’s all I’m thinking again and again,” he said, adding then he feels he may have been targeted if he called police.
“But if I call the cops on these people then I’m a rat or a snitch but if I don’t call the cops they can do whatever they want.”
CTV News tried to speak with Choudhury’s tenants.
Aidain Robert Lachance, Stephen Swiftwolfe-Lewis and Telaina Swiftwolfe-Lewis have all been charged with second-degree murder, in the 18-year-old’s death.
The three, ranging in age from 25 to 18, appeared in Provincial Court on Monday in Saskatoon.
Landlords ‘feeling hopeless’
Choudhury said the rental on Avenue K South has seen a fair share of issues. He said violence and damage to his property stems from people who do not live there. For instance, Choudhury said neither the victim nor the three people charged in the weekend shooting lived in the two units.
“None of them lived there, none of them were my tenants, none of them signed an official lease with me I don’t know any of them,” he said.
Choudhury added he gets calls and texts often from neighbours in the same block of Avenue K South, telling him about the suspicious activity happening at his rental, but he said he has no recourse other than to speak with his tenants, however, he said that’s been the challenge.
“I have been trying to talk to them peacefully so that there is no violence,” he said.
“We are helpless, all landlords on the west-side on southern properties, we are helpless because we cannot stop this.”
Staff Sgt. Maj. Grant Obst with the Saskatoon Police Service said the shooting involved two known street gangs, the Westside Outlaws and the Terror Squad.
“This past weekend was a significant clash between two street gang entities and someone lost their life in the middle of it so that’s a little concerning,” Obst said Tuesday.
The duplex in the 100 Block of Avenue K South is known to police as a place where criminal activity occurs and police have attended the block often and have made arrests in the past, he said.
Neighbours along the 100 Block of Avenue K South said they suspect the home to be involved in the street drug trade, noting how there’s always traffic in and out of the duplex.