Widow of shooting victim urges witnesses to speak up
When Jennifer Moore’s husband was shot and killed during a charity dance in Toronto in 2002, she said more than 80 witnesses came forward to report what they had seen.
During an interview with CTV’s Canada AM on Thursday, the 61-year-old widow urged those who witnessed the tragic shooting at a Scarborough community barbeque that killed two and injured 25 others to speak up.
“That’s the only thing that’s going to help our community,” Moore said. “I know a lot of times they’re scared. They’re afraid of retaliation, they’re afraid if they speak up, them or their family is going to be hurt. But they have to take a step and do the right thing.”
Moore’s husband of 25 years, Colin Moore, was shot eight times during a monthly charity dance in east Toronto.
Three men were denied entrance after refusing to pay the $10 cover charge. Two of them later returned with handguns and fatally shot Moore.
Gary Eunick and Leighton Hay were later convicted of first-degree murder and charged with life in prison. Both unsuccessfully appealed the verdict.
Moore said the prison sentence didn’t give her any closure and she’d like to see harsher penalties handed out to those convicted of gun violence.
“I hear (Toronto) Mayor Ford saying a ban on handguns and I don’t think that’s the answer,” she said. “I think (the court) has to penalize these kids more. Our court system is too lenient. I watched it, I sat through six weeks of it.”
The mother of two said she’d like to reach out to the families of the victims of Monday’s shooting, which Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair has called the worst case of gun violence in North America.
“I want to let them know that even though it’s not going to get any better, somewhere along the line it gets easier,” Moore said.
The Brampton, Ont. resident said she’s never sure what will trigger the grief she feels for her husband.
“Sometimes it’s a song. Sometimes a light blub goes out and there’s no one to fix it,” she said. “It’s little things that trigger you and have that pain all over again.”
Toronto police are asking witnesses and people who attended the community barbeque on Danzig Street in Scarborough on Monday to call them with information at 416-808-4300. Photos and video taken at the scene can also be turned into police on their website www.torontopolice.on.ca.