Man charged and suspect sought in connection with shootout in east end
Benvolio Valenski, 27, is seen in this police handout.
Katherine DeClerq, CTV News Toronto
Published Friday, January 11, 2019 1:46PM EST
A 25-year-old Toronto man has been charged and another suspect is being sought in connection with a shootout that occurred in the city’s east end last week.
According to police, two vehicles with multiple occupants were parked outside a community housing complex near Walpole and Greenwood avenues around 2:20 a.m. on Jan. 4 when an unknown man approached them with a gun and opened fire.
The occupants of both vehicles began to shoot back at the man, police said.
Police said that the man then fled the area on foot, but the two vehicles pursued him. The “exchange of gunfire continued” as the man ran on to Walpole Avenue, investigators said.
One of the occupants in the vehicle sustained gunshot wounds during the exchange and was able to make his way to the hospital. The victim’s injuries were initially said to have been serious, but police later said that the victim was in life-threatening condition.
Reports from the scene indicated that bullet holes from at least two different semi-automatic pistols were found in four vehicles. There was also a bullet hole visible on the exterior of a home.
The two vehicles were described by police as a grey Nissan Altima and a red Nissan Altima. A surveillance camera image of one of the vehicles was released by investigators on Jan. 5.
A suspect identified by police as Toronto resident Steven Karapetrov has been charged with attempted murder as well as multiple firearm-related offences in connection with the incident.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 22.
Police are also searching for a second suspect they have identified as 27-year-old Benvolio Valenski of Ajax. He is also wanted for attempted murder and a number of firearm-related offences, including unlawful possession of a firearm, using a firearm to commit an indictable offence, and discharging a firearm with intent.
In a news release issued Friday, police said that Valenski is believed to be “violent, armed and dangerous.”
“If located, do not approach. Call 9-1-1 immediately,” police said.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact police at 416-808-5500 or to reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously.