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There have been 13 more homicides in Toronto year-to-date compared to 2020, with 11 murders in October


There have been 13 more homicides in Toronto this year compared to last year’s total as police are investigating a string of shootings in the past month.

To date, there have been 74 homicides in the city, surpassing last year’s total of 61 for the entire year.

Toronto police released the latest figures on shooting and homicide rates in the city Friday morning and appealed to the public for help in providing any information that might help solve some outstanding cases.

“We highly value the assistance we receive every day from members of the affected communities and we would not be able to have investigative success without them,” Insp. Hank Idsinga, unit commander of homicide, said at during a briefing Friday morning.

So far, 40 of this year’s homicides resulted from shootings, up from a total of 36 homicides by gun in 2020. That means 54 per cent of all homicides this year resulted from gun violence.

Last month, 11 homicides occurred in the city and eight were a result of shootings.

Police Chief James Ramer said he’s concerned with the rash of shootings in the past month.

“We're always concerned about each and every homicide that occurs in the city. I think you know the number of 74 is really jumped up this year given the last month. We're really hoping that you know the numbers are not going to continue in that regard and so we’re going to have to see what it looks like at year end,” he said.

Police said they have implemented a Centralized Shooting Response (CSR) team composed of eight investigative teams that respond to all firearm discharge incidents.

Although a string of fatal shootings happened in October, police said there has been a 17 per cent reduction in total shootings year-to-date.

“This focus in centralized response to shooting investigations has in part contributed to the 17 per cent reduction in our total shootings year-to-date referenced by our chief, and we are cautiously optimistic that we may see a 20 per cent reduction in shootings for the end of this year,” Acting Deputy Chief of Police Myron Demkiw of Specialized Operations said.

A shooting that the CSR team is currently investigating is one that left a man seriously injured in North York on Oct. 18.

Demkiw said a fight allegedly started in the area of Keele Street and Gulliver Road.

Four individuals produced handguns and fired multiple rounds, hitting an 18-year-old man, Demkiw said.

Investigators have arrested one man and one young male adult but two additional young males remain outstanding, and warrants have been issued for them.

As for the 11 homicides that happened in October, Idsinga said seven have been solved either by identifying or arresting and charging suspects.

The four homicides where suspects remain outstanding include:

  • Homicide #66- A fatal shooting in North York on Oct. 16
  • Homicide #68- A homicide in the city’s Jane and Finch area on Oct. 23.
  • Homicide #70- A fatal shooting in a North York plaza on Oct. 23.
  • Homicide #72- A homicide in Scarborough on Oct. 28.

Idsinga said there is no evidence to suggest the latest homicides are connected to each other.

“Despite some of these incidents happening within days, even hours of each other and within the scene or neighboring divisions, we do not have any evidence at this time to suggest they are connected in any way but of course we are always open to that possibility,” he said.

Toronto police currently have a 73 per cent clearance rate for arrests but Idsinga said that rate will improve as more people are arrested and charged this year.

Anyone with information regarding recent shootings and homicides in the city are asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers anonymously. Top Stories

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