Toronto police probe three shootings in 24 hours
Published Saturday, July 21, 2012 8:34AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 21, 2012 7:30PM EDT
Police are investigating three shootings that left one man clinging to life and three others injured, as a violence-marred week draws to a close.
In total, 31 people have been shot in the last six days, starting with a ruthless public shooting at an east-end block party on Monday.
The first of Friday’s three incidents occurred at about 10 p.m. on Driftwood Court, near Jane Street and Finch Avenue in the city’s northwest end.
A 31-year-old man was shot in the head and was transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries, Toronto police confirmed.
There has been no word on a suspect, but Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga told reporters that police are soliciting tips from witnesses.
Residents of the Driftwood Court area told CTV Toronto that they weren’t surprised by the violence.
“It was just a couple of shots going off, pause, maybe some more. Shocked… but I wasn’t too surprised,” said resident Rick Osnayo.
About 90 minutes later, two victims of a separate shooting were found further south in the High Park area.
Two young men were shot while sitting inside a car, Toronto police Staff Sgt. Susan Thorning told CTVToronto.ca.
A 19-year-old man was shot in the leg, while the 21-year-old man with him was shot in the arm, according to police. Both injuries are considered non-life threatening.
Sgt. Thorning said the victims were found near Jane and Bloor Streets, but it’s believed the shooting took place further north.
Police are looking for a suspect described as a “dark-skinned black man in his late teens” standing five feet, nine inches and wearing a white t-shirt.
Hours later at approximately 4 a.m., police responded to a shooting call on Kennedy Road, near Ellesmere in Scarborough.
A 43-year-old man sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his abdominal area.
In this case, Sgt. Thorning said police are following up on “strong leads.”
Police are urging anyone with information about any of the above incidents to contact police or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.
The shootings came as the city continues to grapple with the aftermath of a mass shooting at a community block party on Danzig Street in Scarborough that killed two people and injured 23 others.
The string of gun violence in the east-end area of Toronto has residents shaken.
“I’ve lived in Scarborough for a very long time,” said resident Mire Narendia. “Nothing I think compares to what’s happened this week. It’s just been a lot to comprehend.”
A 19-year-old man has been charged with a gun crime in connection to that shooting, but police have yet to lay any murder charges.
The block party shooting has triggered impassioned debate about a variety of social issues including gun control, public housing and support programs for at-risk youth.
On Friday around 1,000 people took part in a march to commemorate the two young victims of the Danzig Street shooting.
Fourteen-year-old Shyanne Charles and 23-year-old Joshua Yasay were killed in Monday’s attack.
Community organizers urged residents to take back their communities and take a stand against violence.
Meanwhile Mayor Rob Ford pledged to take a hard line on gun crimes and “chase down…these gun-toting cowards,” while Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair has said there will be a stronger police presence in several neighbourhoods to protect against any retaliatory violence.
Mayor Ford and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty are scheduled to meet with police and community leaders on Monday to address the issue of gun violence in Toronto.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Ashley Rowe