Elijah Eleazar Mahepath, right, were both victims of "random acts of violence" say Toronto Police. Photo via Toronto Police.
Toronto police have arrested a man after he allegedly killed two strangers in downtown Toronto in two days, and say they have reason to believe he may have planned to kill more people.
Around 5 p.m. on April 7, Kartik Vasudev was shot outside a Toronto subway station entrance. The 21-year-old was helped by a nearby paramedic but died of his injuries at the hospital. Police say the killing was “completely unprovoked” and that Vasudev had been shot several times. He was an international student, studying marketing at a local college.
Just two days later, around 7 p.m. on April 9, police say a man walked up behind 35-year-old Elijah Eleazar Mahepath and shot him. Mahepath was killed within walking distance of where Vasudev was shot. Mahepath died on the scene.
“Any death is tragic, but these men were completely innocent and their murders were absolutely random acts of violence,” said Toronto Police Chief James Ramer.
Police arrested Richard Edwin, 39, without incident at his Toronto apartment on April 10 and have charged him with two counts of first-degree murder. Police say they found a large number of weapons “on the floor next to him” at his property.
“Given that he had already killed two apparent strangers, as we allege, and that a cache of firearms was located in his residence, we can reasonably conclude that the quick work of our investigators has prevented a further loss of life,” said Ramer.
Among the weapons was a rifle that police believe would have been “capable of causing great carnage if used.” Edwin had no prior police record and was “lawfully in possession of the weapons.” Officers say they were able to track Edwin via security footage back to his home.
Police say it’s too early to speculate on the motive and whether the victims’ race had anything to do with the killings. Toronto Police Homicide Detective Terry Browne said there was no verbal interaction between the accused and victims.
“From what we saw, any interaction between the shooter and the victims was very, very quick and brief,” Toronto Police Homicide Detective Terry Browne told reporters. “We can’t say for certainty whether in fact he would have been able to see their ethnicity.”
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.