Toronto police connect Galloway Boys to Danzig murders, other shootings
Matthew Coutts, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, September 11, 2012 7:36AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 11, 2012 11:30AM EDT
As many as six people opened fire during a deadly gunfight between rival gangs during an outdoor barbecue on Danzig Street earlier this summer, Toronto police said Tuesday.
Police said the massive gunfight broke out as members of the Galloway Boys street gang feuded with rivals from the nearby Malvern district during the July 16 party.
The deadly gunfight claimed the lives of bystanders Shyanne Charles, 14, Joshua Yasay, 23. Twenty-three others were injured during the Danzig Street shooting, which has been called the worst public shooting in Toronto’s history.
The revelation came as Toronto police investigators linked the Danzig party murders, the 2011 shooting death of D’Mitre Barnaby and six other shootings to the Galloway Boys street gang – a notorious street gang that operates in the Scarborough area.
“Investigators believe the conflict between the Galloway Boys and other neighbourhoods in the Scarborough area, in particular Orton Park, is fuelled by the Galloway Boys’ propensity for violence, their ability to obtain guns and their willingness to seek revenge,” Toronto police Homicide Det. Sgt. Brett Nicol told reporters on Tuesday.
“We have some information that the shooters in these incidents are vying for the leadership of the Galloway Boys group.”
Danzig party murders
Police allege that a member of the Galloway Boys used Twitter to promote the community housing barbecue as his own party, promising he would be supplying bottles of Hennessy Cognac. The attention lured many people to the party from outside the Danzig area, including the Malvern area of Scarborough.
There has been a long-standing feud between the Galloway Boys and another gang based in Malvern.
Police allege that members of the Galloway Boys confronted people they did not recognize and demanded those from Malvern leave the party immediately.
The group from Malvern returned a short time later with larger numbers, police allege, and a gunfire broke out in the centre of the party.
Investigators found more than 25 fired shell casings at the scene and have recovered five firearms. These items have been sent for forensic and DNA testing, police said.
“We are getting information and cooperation from the people who were here, as witnesses,” Toronto police Homicide Det. Sgt. Peter Trimble told reporters on Tuesday.
“I am sad to report that unfortunately some of the victims, the 23 other people, have not been cooperative despite being struck by bullets. Some of them have refused to talk to us, which makes our investigation difficult.”
While police have charged two men in connection to the Danzig Street shooting, they have yet to lay murder charges.
Shaquan Mesquito, 18, has been charged with uttering threats on the day of the Danzig Shooting. Police said Mesquito is from the Malvern area and is known by the street name “Bam Bam.”
Nahom Tsegazab, 19, has been charged with reckless discharge of a firearm. Police allege that Tsegazab is a Galloway Boys member known by the nickname “Gifted” and was the person promoting the party on Twitter.
D’Mitre Barnaby shooting death
The Danzig Street shooting is allegedly linked to another shooting that killed D’Mitre Barnaby, 24, on Dec. 30, 2011. Barnaby was shot at an apartment building on Lawrence Avenue, near Scarborough Golf Club Road.
On Tuesday, police released video footage of the incidents leading up to Barnaby’s death, alleging he was pursued by two men and shot several times in a darkened parking lot.
Prior to his death, police say Barnaby and a friend were listening to music in his car and saw a white 2007 Nissan Versa drive past, while the driver stared at the pair. Police said the friend became nervous and left the area.
The van was later seen circling back and two suspects reportedly walked through the area, coming from the Nissan. The two suspects followed as Barnaby drove from one parking lot to another, police said.
Police said that Barnaby was eventually approached by the two men, one of whom was brandishing a gun. As Barnaby retreated, the armed suspect shot several times and fled the scene.
Det. Sgt. Nicol told reporters that Barnaby did not have affiliation to any gang and was not known to the suspects. “It was a case of mis-identity. He was not the intended target,” he said on Tuesday.
Nicol said the Nissan Versa had been recovered by police and investigators have swept the vehicle for forensic evidence.
“Through the course of our investigation we have learned that the Galloway Boys are involved in a conflict with gentlemen in the Orton Park area. This conflict has led to several other shootings,” Nicol told a press conference on Tuesday.
Public shooting spate
Police said they have linked six other shootings to these three homicides and all are linked to the Galloway Boys, a street gang whose members reside in the Galloway Road area.
The following shootings have also been linked to the investigation:
- The Domino’s Shooting – Three men were wounded from gunshots in front of a pizza place at Lawrence Avenue East and Susan Street on Sept. 4, 2011.
- Northfield Drive Shooting – A man was shot in his vehicle during a drug deal on Northfield Drive on Nov. 4, 2011. Ramon Williams, associated with the Galloway Boys, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with attempted murder.
- Kingston Road Drive-By – Three young men were shot at near 4315 Kingston Rd., known turf of the Galloway Boys, on Dec. 28, 2011. Police allege Burnaby’s death a few days later was a direct retaliation for this shooting.
- 3827 Lawrence East Shooting – Several shots were fired on the second floor of an apartment on Jan. 15, 2012. Blood was found at the scene, but no victim has been identified.
- 4100 Lawrence East Shooting – Several shots were fired and suspects were seen fleeing the area on Aug. 6, 2012. No victims were identified.
- Lawrence LRT Shooting – A man gunned down after being chased through the Lawrence East rapid transit station on Aug. 2012. The victim was identified as a up and coming leader of the Galloway Boys.
Police have also connected a shooting in townhouse complex on Chester Le Boulevard, in the Victoria Park area, on September 2 to the Danzig Street gunfight. Investigators allege a young person shot at the complex had also been hit during the Danzig Street fight and that other people living in the complex attended the party.
Toronto police Homicide Det. Sgt. Brett Nicol holds a press conference in Toronto on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012.
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)