Oakwood bus shooter gets nine-year sentence
Published Thursday, March 18, 2010 6:57PM EDT
A man who fired a shot on an Oakwood Avenue bus last year has received a nine-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to attempted murder in an incident captured with stunning clarity by on-bus security cameras.
“I’m not a gangster. I don’t walk around with a gun,” Richard Haynes, 29, told the court Thursday, according to the Toronto Star. “I tried to take it off the bus. I apologize for that ... I’d never hurt anybody.”
Haynes pleaded guilty Monday.
"Once he saw what was on (the tape), he found it difficult to accept that he was someone who was capable of that," said defence lawyer Sean Robichaud.
The Crown and defence supplied a joint submission to Justice Carole Brewer.
The incident occurred on Feb. 23, 2009. The target was a 17-year-old boy, who had been shot in the hip at one point during the attack. He has since recovered.
Haynes, a second man and the victim knew each other. They got into an altercation as Haynes and an accomplice tried to get the teen off the bus. The teen wouldn't budge.
The security footage -- the result of a $17-million upgrade to TTC bus security that began four years ago -- shows Haynes getting off the bus, getting back on, unwrapping a .45-calibre handgun from a red bandana, saying something to the driver -- and then firing a shot.
The bullet ricocheted and then ended up in the lining of a woman's winter coat. She could be seen walking up to the driver to calmly say she thought she'd been shot. However, she suffered no serious injuries.
By then, the teen had been pulled off the bus. His hip wound came from a second bullet fired while the three fighting were outside.
No one else was injured.
Court heard Thursday that the 17-year-old had stabbed Haynes in the midsection earlier in the day. Haynes said he wanted an apology from the teen and that the earlier incident had filled him with rage to the point where he zoned out.
Haynes had no previous criminal record. Upon completing his sentence, he will face deportation to Jamaica.
Marlon Cooper, 22, the second man involved in the attack, pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm for his role and was sentenced to two years less a day. He was given credit for time already spent in custody.
He said nothing after leaving court. Daniel Brown, his lawyer, said all his client did was attempt to push the victim off the bus.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Chris Eby