Thrown water bottle, $30 dispute preceded two shooting deaths outside club: court
TORONTO -- The shooting deaths of two young men as they left a crowded Port Lands nightclub may have started over a dispute about $30, and a thrown water bottle, Ontario Superior Court heard recently over closing arguments in the murder trial.
Surveillance video played in court shows the moments before the October 2017 murder, when one of the accused, Tanade Mohamed, tosses a water bottle at one of the victims, 25-year-old club promoter Tyler McLean. Court heard Mohamed was angry over a $30 parking fee charged by the valet for the Rebel Nightclub.
He then walks over to McLean, where the video shows pushing between them and a small crowd forms — but eventually everyone walks away.
Later, surveillance video shows muzzle flashes coming from the window of a rented black Dodge Durango before it flees the parking lot.
Authorities said that’s when Tanade Mohamed shot McLean through the chest, and 26-year-old Zemarai Khan Mohamed, who also went by Amir Jamal, in the head.
A dashcam video shows a police car in pursuit of the Durango along the Don Valley Parkway — but the chase became too dangerous and officers had to back off.
Police tracked Mohamed and his co-accused Abdisiraq Ali to their homes using banking information, documents say.
Video played of a combative police interview with Mohamed was allowed in as evidence by Superior Court Justice Peter Bawden.
Sitting in a room at 51 Division, Mohamed at first denies even having been at the club that night.
“You say I’m not helping you,” Mohamed can be heard saying on the recording. “You can help me by explaining to me why I’m here.”
The officer responds, while shuffling papers, “Because you’re charged with second-degree murder for two individuals.”
“There’s no way. You can help me understand that I’m here for a double homicide,” Mohamed says. “I personally know that I didn’t commit a crime,” he says.
Since then, he has admitted through his lawyer that he caused the two deaths by discharging a firearm, according to an agreed statement of facts.
But both accuseds say that doesn’t amount to second degree murder.
As for that water bottle, it was recovered by police and placed as an exhibit.
McLean’s friends have created an annual event called “The Tyler Effect” to honour his memory and to fight gun violence.
“Born out of the heartbreaking loss of an incredibly gifted, creative and talented young man, the Tyler Effect aims to continue to spread the same joy and love that this individual brought to so many people in his lifetime,” The Tyler Effect’s website says.
The trial was originally before a jury but was suspended last year because of COVID-19. It is now proceeding before Justice Bawden alone.