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Toronto police set up command post after back-to-back shootings in North York

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Toronto police stepped up their presence in North York's Jane-Finch area following back-to-back shootings over the weekend, one of which was fatal.

Late Sunday afternoon, Chief Myron Demkiw announced that a command post has been set up at Driftwood Community Centre "so residents feel safe.

"We ask that people in the Jane Street and Driftwood Avenue area call 911 if they see anything suspicious," he said in a post on X.

The shootings occurred less than 24 hours apart on Friday and Saturday in the area of Jane Street and Driftwood Avenue, just north of Finch Avenue.

One person died, while a teenage boy was critically injured.

In both cases, the victims were waiting outside of a bus stop in the area when an unknown suspect approached and fired shots at them, police said Saturday.

A Toronto police car is pictured on Driftwood Avenue in Toronto, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. Some residents in a northwest Toronto neighbourhood say they're feeling uneasy after two people were shot while waiting for buses at the same intersection less than a day apart. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey

The victim of the Saturday shooting was shot three times, twice in the stomach and once in the head, and died in hospital. Their identity has not been released as their next of kin has not been notified, police said.

The victim of the Friday shooting, a 16-year-old boy, was shot in the face and rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries. He remains there in critical, but stable, condition.

Police said Saturday that they believe that the same suspect is connected to both shootings, but investigators are still working to determine if he acted alone or with accomplices.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday afternoon, Insp. Peter Wehby said although the two shootings “appear to be random,” investigators are looking into why the victims were targeted.

“It's not a normal thing to just shoot somebody who's standing at a bus stop. So this has hallmarks of gang activity. But I'm not going to say at this point that we can confirm it’s gang activity,”

Wehby said, adding that the incidents are being investigated jointly by the homicide unit and guns and gangs task force.

Wehby went on to say that police have since located a suspected stolen vehicle believed to be connected to the shootings. He asked members of the public who may have seen the black Acura RDX with licence plate CVEN900 on Friday or Saturday to contact investigators.

No arrests have been made at this point.

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