Teens held hostage, tortured by gang members after shootout at Front Street building
A number of suspected gang members are shown exchanging gunfire inside a Front Street condo building in this image taken from surveillance camera footage.
Rachael D'Amore and Sandie Benitah, CTV Toronto
Published Thursday, April 28, 2016 5:01PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 2, 2016 12:02PM EDT
The suspected leader of a Toronto area gang has been arrested and two other members are being sought by police in connection with the alleged kidnapping, torture and assault of two teenaged members of a rival gang.
The incident began at a condo building on Front Street in the early hours of Monday, April 18.
Police say members of the ‘Young Buck Killas’ gang were hosting a party at a unit on the 25th floor of a condo building at 300 Front Street, near Blue Jays Way.
Two 17-year-old boys who were at the party allegedly “tipped off” members of rival gang Queen’s Drive Crips about the location of the party. These boys were known to be friendly with members of both gangs.
Members of the rival gang came to the building to crash a party the Young Buck Killas were hosting inside the unit.
At around 3 a.m. there was a standoff and gunfire erupted in the hallway with shots fired from several different guns. In total, between eight and 10 shots were fired, according to Toronto police Hold Up Squad Staff Insp. Mike Earl.
In surveillance camera footage released by Toronto police, four people are seen exiting the elevator and then running back into the elevator with guns drawn. One person is seen suddenly crouching down and Earl said he may have been grazed by a bullet.
The incident was not reported to police until later that morning when building residents found shell casings and bullet holes.
Earl told reporters at a news conference Thursday that the tension continued after partygoers fled the scene of the party but agreed to reunite at a townhouse on Swansea Mews in the city’s west end.
Once at the townhouse, Earl said that the two 17-year-old boys who allegedly told the Queen’s Drive Crips about the party were kidnapped by people believed to be with the Young Buck Killas.
Over the course of two days, police said the victims were tied to a chair, beaten and forced to play Russian Roulette using a loaded handgun.
“They (the victims) thought they were going to meet the people they were at the party with but when they showed up the heads of state blamed the youth for the ambush, held them captive and made them pay,” Earl said.
“As the beatings were taking place, they were also forced to perform sexual acts.”
The victims were also taken to two other addresses in the Lawrence Heights area where they were once again tied to chairs and beaten.
Police said that ransom demands were eventually made to the victims’ family members.
The two victims were released on April 21 when the ransom demand was paid.
Police arrested 19-year-old Quinton Gardiner, who is suspected of being one of the leaders of the ‘Young Buck Killas,’ on April 23. Gardiner was charged with kidnapping-related offences.
On April 24, police executed a search warrant at a home in the Shaughnessy Boulevard and Trailside Drive area where they arrested and charged three other suspects identified as 23-year-old Akil Whyte, 18-year-old Deshawn Walters and a 16-year-old boy with firearms-related offences.
Police said that a loaded gun was also found at the home.
Two other males, a 17-year-old who can't be named and 23-year-old Lincoln Anthony Richards, are wanted by police on Canada-wide warrants and are believed to be armed and dangerous.
The two suspects face kidnapping, confinement, assault and weapons charges.
Earl added that members of Richards’ family are also sought by police.
“My understanding is and the allegations are that his family members, his mother, grandmother and sister, may have been present at the house in Swansea Mews when the beatings were taking place,” said Earl
“I wouldn’t call this an innocent stranger kidnapping… This is basically gang war kidnapping. As police officers, we don’t pick our victims. We are here to protect everybody. My fear is that there will be a retaliation of some sort in the gang world if we don’t get ahead of this.”
A representative with the building, who did not want to be named, told CP24 that the property manager was not aware that the unit was being rented through AirBnB. The representative also said that the shooting is the first incident of this nature to take place at the building.
With files from Tamara Cherry.