Baby delivered via emergency C-section in stable condition as police hunt mother's killer
Published Monday, May 16, 2016 5:18AM EDT Last Updated Monday, May 16, 2016 6:28PM EDT
A baby who was removed from his murdered mother’s womb late Sunday night is now in stable condition, police said as investigators ramp up the search for those behind the deadly Jamestown shooting.
Candice “Rochelle” Bobb, 35, was about five months pregnant when the car she was riding in was shot at several times at around 11 p.m. in a Rexdale neighbourhood, near John Garland Boulevard and Jamestown Crescent.
Bobb, who police said was sitting in the back seat, was rushed to Etobicoke General Hospital by the other three occupants of the vehicle, all of whom escaped injury in the shooting. She was pronounced deceased a short time later.
The child was delivered via emergency C-section and transferred to a trauma centre but on Monday morning, police said the baby was in stable condition.
Homicide investigator Det.-Sgt. Mike Carbone gave reporters a brief update Monday but would not say if the father of the child was in the vehicle when the gunshots rang out.
Carbone said he would not make any other comments about the baby and said it was too early to tell if the incident was gang related or if Bobb was targeted.
He warned reporters at a news conference Monday morning that their investigation is still in the beginning stages.
“For some reason that vehicle was certainly targeted, but that’s all we can say at this time,” he said.
Bobb and the others in the vehicle were coming back from a recreational basketball game that was taking place in Toronto. As the vehicle stopped on John Garland Boulevard to drop off a passenger, gunshots rang out and struck the car several times.
Investigators are trying to determine if the shooter or shooters fired the gun from another vehicle. Police recovered about seven shell casings at the scene, spread out over two blocks.
Officers are canvassing the area for witnesses today and are asking drivers to contact them if they have footage from a dashboard camera taken in the area around the time of the incident.
“Our appeal today is to try and find out what happened here yesterday evening,” he said. “My hope is that when we conduct the canvas, we’ll get a clearer picture of what happened.”
In the meantime, Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner, who is the head of 23 Division in Etobicoke, said the police station has deployed as many resources as possible to particular areas to help combat the rise in violence.
So far in 2016, there have been 135 shootings, 19 of which resulted in death. In 2015, Toronto saw 84 shootings at this time last year, and only 6 shooting-related deaths.
He said while he suspects gangs have been involved in the recent rise of shootings in the city, it’s too early to tell if this particular incident involved gang members.
The occupants of the vehicle that were with Bobb are not known to police, he said. They are cooperating with police in the investigation.
He said the increased number of shootings in the city and the number of guns seized by police suggests there are more guns available on the street.
“There’s no doubt there are more guns on the street and more young people, and people in general carrying guns,” he said. “It’s a sad day when we have to come together and talk about a woman being shot and not know what it’s about.
Taverner called the shooters “cowards” and the level of violence in yesterday’s shooting “outrageous” and “disgusting.”
“Very cowardly,” he said of the incident. “For all intents and purposes, someone driving up and shooting is outrageous."
Some residents in Jamestown said they feel concerned about their safety.
"I don't know what's going on," one Jamestown resident said. "Even when you walk the streets, you feel threatened by these young guys just doing stupid stuff."
"I came outside for a cigarette and I heard the shots, like five or six shots," Jamestown resident Janet Delisser said. "I feel bad for the kid right now. How is he going to grow without his mom?"
Taverner said he's hoping people from the community will come forward with information.
"(We are) totally outraged that this could happen. We’re all kind of in shock. The whole community is outraged. The whole city is outraged that this could happen," he said.
"Anytime people go to this level of violence (it's) disgusting.”