The members of a gang that police say are responsible for a spat of gun violence in the city’s east end started their violent record with a home invasion nearly a decade ago, CTV Toronto has learned.

The area of Scarborough, along Lawrence Avenue East, which gang expert Anthony Hutchinson calls “the triangle of death,” began its dubious rise when the Galloway Boys gang ended up with a cache of weapons after raiding a gun collector’s home.

“He who holds guns, holds the power, holds the influence,” Hutchinson told CTV Toronto’s Austin Delaney.

Though nearly 200 gangs are spread across the city, many associated with a particular neighbourhood, this cache of guns has made the Galloway Boys the most powerful, Hutchinson said.

“That's important because it shifted the balance of power of arsenal on the streets of Toronto, so when you look at Doomsday, Jamestown, Malvern Crew, Chester Li, a lot of the migration of those guns actually came from the robbery in Kingston-Galloway,” he said.

Galloway Boys member Tyshaun Riley used to be at the helm of the group, said Hutchinson, but he is serving a life sentence on murder charges, leaving a power vacuum in his wake.

Police told reporters Tuesday that they suspect some of the violence that has plagued the Lawrence Avenue East area in the last year can be attributed to a leadership struggle.

"We have some information that the shooters in these incidents are vying for the leadership within the Galloway Boys group and within that group, we have a number of different aspects. These guys are involved in all sorts of criminality, from drug dealing, weapons trafficking and prostitution,” said police Sgt. Brett Nicol.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, police said three homicides can be connected to the Galloway Boys, including the shootings that claimed the lives of innocent bystanders Shyanne Charles, 14, Joshua Yasay, 23 during a community barbeque on Danzig Street on July 16. Twenty-three others were injured during that shooting.

Six other shootings in Scarborough in the past year can also be linked to the Galloway Boys, police said.