17-year-old becomes third person charged in Danzig Street murders
Published Friday, November 23, 2012 10:28AM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 23, 2012 10:57AM EST
A 17-year-old suspect has become the third person charged over a deadly shooting spree on Danzig Street more than four months ago.
The male suspect -- who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act -- was charged Friday with two counts of second-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, 22 counts of aggravated assault and one count of recklessly discharging a firearm, as part of an ongoing probe into Toronto’s worst mass shooting.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
The charges come just one day after police charged another alleged shooter with similar offences.
At a news conference Thursday, Staff Insp. Greg McLane announced they had also charged Nahom "Gifted" Tsegazab in the July 16 shooting, which took place at a busy neighbourhood block party.
This week’s charges are the latest in a growing list for several people in the Galloway Rd. and Malvern neighbourhoods as police continue to sift through mounting information about what happened that night.
Investigators are not necessarily alleging that the suspects shot and killed the two victims, 14-year-old Shyanne Charles and 23-year-old Joshua Yasay. Rather, the new charges allege that their actions contributed to the deaths.
"This investigation is far from over. With continued help from the community, I am confident my investigators will make further arrests," McLane said Thursday. "We have reason to believe based on our investigation that there are a minimum of one or two more shooters involved in this incident."
Police said at a previous news conference that they believed as many as six people exchanged gunfire during the incident, which investigators say was sparked by a feud between the Galloway Boys and Malvern Crew street gangs.
"That was some time ago and we've since had an opportunity to conduct further investigations," McLane said, adding police now believe there were "at minimum four" shooters involved.
Twenty-five people, including Tsegazab, were hit by bullets that night. Charles and Yasay did not survive.
Earlier this month, police released composite sketches of two so-called people of interest in the investigation. Police announced that one of those men had been identified and questioned as a result of that release. Police are still appealing for tips related to the second person-of-interest, believed to go by the street name "Juvi."
Tsegazab was the first to be arrested in the case, but not on allegations of murder. The 19-year-old man was still nursing his own wounds when police charged him with reckless discharge of a firearm. According to a police source, investigators believe Tsegazab took ownership of the party as a member of the Galloway Boys.
Police believe that around the time he was shot, he pulled out his own gun and began firing it off again and again, recklessly. This explains why Tsegazab is charged with second-degree murder, rather than the more serious charge of first-degree murder, the latter of which would suggest a level of premeditation.
First-degree murder is what alleged Malvern Crew member Shaquan Mesquito, 18, faces in relation to the deaths.
The 17-year-old boy now facing murder charges was arrested Thursday night. He was shot in the leg during the Danzig shoot-out. Investigators allege Tsegazab tried to murder him.
Then, on Sept. 2, the same 17-year-old boy was on Chester Le Boulevard when he was again shot in the leg. Police allege this was another attempt on the teen's life, but he was saved because the assailant's gun jammed after the first shot. A 16-year-old boy who is related to one of the Danzig victims was charged with the attempted murder. Police believe this was a Danzig retribution shooting.
As a result of the Sept. 2 shooting, a search warrant was carried out on Chester Le Boulevard. That led to cocaine trafficking charges for the 17-year-old victim. He was out on bail when he was arrested last night on allegations that hewas part of the Danzig gunfight.
With files from CTV Toronto's Tamara Cherry
A police officer places a marker on Danzig Street in Toronto on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, near the scene of a shooting the day before. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim / THE CANADIAN PRESS)