A 21-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder in connection with the 2005 shooting of a TTC driver. Toronto police say the firearm used in the case is linked to four other serious crimes.

Police announced the arrest on Tuesday, just days after investigators revealed they found the gun used in the attack.

Last Thursday, detectives said they had recovered a 9 mm Browning used in the shooting that left a TTC driver with permanent damage to his eyesight.

The gun was recovered late last year during an unrelated incident. Forensic science linked the gun to the 2005 shooting.

Police urged witnesses to think back to the night of the shooting and come forward with information. Following the appeal, police received "vital pieces of information we didn't have two years ago," Det. Mike Barsky said at a news conference late Tuesday afternoon.

Barsky said as many as 10 people were involved in the Oct. 15, 2005 altercation at a bus stop in the Morningside Avenue and Sewells Road intersection. The 41-year-old bus driver, Jamie Pereira, had stopped to break up the fight when he was shot in the face. Despite undergoing emergency surgery, Pereira will likely never be able to drive again.

He issued a statement through the police on Tuesday, thanking officers for their dedication and hard work.

"Although I will physically and emotionally never be the same, I am determined to continue a positive outlook and put this terrible incident in my past," the statement read.

Barsky said the accused became a person of interest within three months of the investigation, but police didn't have enough evidence to charge him.

The accused was arrested and charged on Monday at the Durham Region courts. He is facing charges of attempted murder and kidnapping in an unrelated matter.

Malcolm Chalmers, of Toronto, is charged with:

  • Attempted murder while using a firearm
  • Using a firearm to commit an indictable offence

He is scheduled to appear at the Eglinton Avenue courts on Feb. 11.

Gun linked to five serious crimes

Police Chief Bill Blair attended Tuesday's press conference, where he praised the work of investigators.

He also said the firearm used in the shooting of the TTC driver has been used in three other attempted murders and the 2003 murder of youth worker Kempton Howard.

"This single firearm, which is believed to have been stolen in Canada, has been used to our knowledge, for five very serious offences," Blair told reporters.

"I think it is evidence of the destructive power that even a single firearm in the hands of criminals (has)."

Blair said the case reinforces his belief that the federal government should impose a ban on handguns and do more to prevent the illegal flow of firearms into Canada from the United States.

Blair said the accused in the TTC shooting was among those arrested when police seized the handgun during an investigation in Scarborough in September 2006.

The chief said the relationship between the gunmen in the various shootings are linked, but he wouldn't comment if the shooters were connected to the same gang.