Toronto police say two young men murdered early Friday morning while sitting in their vehicle were likely targeted hits.

Dylan Ellis and Oliver Martin, both 25-year-old downtown residents, were shot while sitting in a Range Rover SUV near Richmond and Niagara Streets shortly after midnight Friday. 

"I don't believe it's a random act," Det. Sgt. Gary Giroux told reporters on Saturday. "The people were the intended targets."

Giroux said police don't believe Ellis and Martin were killed during a carjacking as they initially thought.

"If you want to carjack a vehicle you don't shoot people, you make demands of people to get out ... so the motive is still unknown," he said.

Toronto police have now released a "vague" description of a man seen fleeing the area where the men were murdered.

Homicide investigators say the description is based on witness reports from residents who saw a man leaving the crime scene.

The man is described as black, with a light complexion, and he was wearing a light-coloured top and dark pants. He fled south after the shooting. Some said he was on foot while others said he was on a mountain bike.

"I agree it is a vague description, but the fact is somebody in this community might have somebody in mind with regards of who might be capable," Giroux said.

"If there is someone in the area that has some familiarity with somebody with a violent background, I would hope they would call."

Investigators believe the gunman is familiar with the area, Giroux said.

The victims were pronounced dead at hospital. An autopsy showed they died of gunshot wounds to the chest. The victims had been at a friend's house watching an NBA playoff game before they were attacked.

A third passenger, Martin's girlfriend, was sitting in the back of the vehicle when the shooting happened. She escaped unharmed.

Police said Ellis and Martin, who came from the affluent Rosedale neighbourhood, had never been in trouble with the law.

Officers are looking at surveillance camera footage from the scene.

Meanwhile, a memorial at the crime scene is growing.

"They were absolutely wonderful," said friend Whitney Geller. "Fun-loving and best friends."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7400, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), or online at

With a report from CTV Toronto's Matet Nebres