Jamestown residents fear more violence, community reverend says
Published Sunday, May 22, 2016 10:52PM EDT Last Updated Sunday, May 22, 2016 11:22PM EDT
Toronto police released this photo of Candice Rochelle Bobb, a pregnant Malton woman who was shot to death in Rexdale. (Toronto police handout)
A reverend in the community where a pregnant woman was shot dead in a parked car earlier this month says residents are “crippled” by the fear of more violence.
Speaking at a small vigil for Candice Rochelle Bobb, the 35-year-old Malton pregnant mother who was shot dead in a car on John Garland Boulevard on the night of May 15, Rev. Richard Mitchell says residents of the Jamestown area of Etobicoke are scared just to do ordinary daily tasks.
“They’re fearing for themselves and their children, not knowing what will happen when they enter or exit their doors,” Mitchell said, adding the fear of more gun violence in the neighbourhood is “crippling the community here.”
He said that residents are also expressed disgust and anger at the “ready availability of guns and other types of weaponry” that are used in crimes committed in the neighbourhood and across the city.
Bobb's 20-week-old unborn child was delivered via emergency C-section and transferred to a hospital trauma centre.
On Thursday, Toronto Mayor John Tory called on federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and the Canada Border Services Agency to crack down on the flow of illegal guns into the country.
He claimed that half of the guns used in crimes in Toronto come from the United States.
Sunday’s vigil was organized by faith leaders in the area who wanted to dispel the fear felt by members of their congregation.
If residents felt safer, Mitchell said they’d feel more comfortable speaking to police and politicians eager to reduce the rate of violent crime in the city.
As of May 16, Toronto’s murder rate is nearly double what it was at this time in 2015, and the number of gun homicides has risen by more than 200 per cent.
Bobb’s killer has not been identified and is still at large.