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Man who died in armed standoff shot himself: Winnipeg police

WINNIPEG - A man who died in an armed standoff with police in Winnipeg shot himself while officers surrounded his home, the city's police chief said Wednesday.

Chief Devon Clunis took the rare step of personally holding a news conference to try to clear the air over what happened July 30 when Andrew Baryluk, 52, died.

"As much as I understand and appreciate the fact people would like details very quickly, I think it's also prudent to ensure that the information that we're providing to you is as close to complete as we possibly can," Clunis said.

Police initially released few details and until Wednesday had not said whether Baryluk killed himself or was shot by officers. That led to speculation as to whether Baryluk could have been handled differently.

According to police, officers received a report just before 11 a.m. of a lone male barricaded inside a home in a North End neighbourhood. He was armed and threatening to harm himself. They talked to the man by phone, but after several hours, contact was lost. Officers tried to move in but shots were fired from inside. Police fired back and retreated. Hours later, they entered the home to find Baryluk dead.

Clunis filled in more details Wednesday. Officers were trying to deliver a communicating device when they were fired upon, he said. About seven hours later, they entered the building.

"The investigation has revealed that Mr. Baryluk died as a result of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound and a firearm was located within the residence."

No officers were injured.

The investigation continues.

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