WINNIPEG – The family of a 3-year-old boy who was stabbed repeatedly in the neck held a vigil outside of the Children’s Hospital Friday, as they made the difficult decision to take him off of life support.

Hunter Haze Smith-Straight has been in grave condition since Wednesday, the day he was attacked, likely while he was sound asleep.

His family told CTV News in a message Friday morning that an MRI shows he had severe brain damage.

A friend of the family, Darryl Contois, said Hunter was his mother’s only child.

“And she's going through a hard time, she's been through hell and back,” Contois said.

“It's very heartbreaking to see a little boy laying there, almost lifeless inside a hospital bed.”

At the vigil Friday afternoon, family grieved alongside community members there to support them through the tragedy, lining up to offer personal prayers and condolences.

“This is a reminder that we need to protect our children. Not only our children, but we need to protect everybody's children,’ said Naomi Nicholas, a councillor with Brokenhead Ojibway Nation.

Some at the event said action is needed to stop violence like this against children,

“There's a lot of angry people out there,” said Angelina Flett. “At all levels of the government, we need to come together.”


At the vigil, Hunter was described by those who knew him as an inquisitive child with big dreams.

“Out of the blue, he would ask you anything. But he always had a smile and he loved toy guns,” said Contois. “He told me he was going to become a cop when he grows up.”


Police said the suspect was in a previous relationship with the boy's mother and attacked the child in a home on Pritchard Avenue, after assaulting her earlier at another location on Main Street.

Daniel Jensen, 33, is charged with several offences, including attempted murder.

That charged could change, said police.

“Certainly if an individual passes away as a result of an assault we can upgrade charges,” said Const. Jay Murray, Winnipeg Police Service.

Jensen had a court appearance Friday.

The next one is scheduled for Nov. 8.

-Edited by Megan Benedictson.