News

A timeline of summer gun violence in Toronto

The city has seen more than 220 shooting incidents so far this year.
July 23, 2018, 3:23pm
Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press

Two people are dead and 12 others were injured in a shooting on Danforth Avenue Sunday night, the latest in an alarming wave of gun violence this summer that has caught children in the crossfire and played out on busy streets. The number of shootings spiked in May, to 56 occurrences. June saw 42 people shot in 31 occurrences, according to the Toronto police, including a random drive by shooting that left a woman coming home from a funeral dead and a shooting on Queen Street and claimed the lives of two stars of the local hip hop scene.

According to statistics gathered by the Toronto police, there have been 228 shootings this year, and more than 308 victims. The tally so far this year is already greater than the number of shootings Toronto saw by this time in each of the last four years.

Mayor John Tory denounced the "despicable" act of violence on Sunday, and the fact that guns continue to be too readily available in the city. He and the police chief announced a plan to dispatch 200 cops to “priority” neighbourhoods.

VICE News compiled a list of shootings since June 1, based on Toronto police press releases. Note that this is not a complete picture, as police do not issue press releases for every occurrence.

June 5 – Etobicoke

Rodney Rizun, 45, was shot in a townhouse complex at Birmingham Street and Bradham Path in south Etobicoke at approximately 11:30 p.m. He was then taken to hospital where he later died.

June 14 – Scarborough

Two sisters, 5 and 9, were shot in a Scarborough playground in the McCowan Rd and Alton Towers Circle area just before the evening hour, around 5 p.m. They were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The suspected shooter has been is identified as 21-year-old Sheldon Eriya from Markham. According to police, he was targeting another male at the time of the shooting.

June 24 - Etobicoke

Patrick McKenna, 20, and Dalbert Allison, 40, were shot and killed inside an Etobicoke residence, near Lightwood Drive and Sanagan Road at around 2 a.m. Police report that one of the victims answered the door before being shot at. They account for the 45th and 46 homicide of the year.

June 24 - North York

Jenas Nyarko, pictured left, was shot in a drive-by shooting in North York on Sun. June 24 at around 2 a.m. while sitting in the backseat of a car returning from a funeral with friends. The 31-year-old was rushed to hospital where she later died. Police said there was nothing in Nyarko’s past that would suggest she was the intended target. One of the passengers in the car spoke to Global News about the terrifying episode. “All I remember was a big bang and I looked around. ‘What is going on? Like what the hell? What was that?’” the woman, who was not identified, said. "I thought it was a firecracker. I never thought it was a gun until she said, ‘I’m hurt.”

June 25 - Downtown Toronto

Brent Young, 41, was found with gunshot wounds in a community housing building near Dundas Street East after 2:30.a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene, the 48th homicide of the year. Warren Farrell, 26, and Mark Thompson, 39, were arrested. Both have been charged with first-degree murder.

June 29 - Downtown Toronto

Cassandra Beckett-Benjamin, 21, is accused of shooting two pedestrians in the Shuter Street and George Street area on Friday, June 29 at around 1 a.m. This allegedly happened after a verbal altercation occurred between a 21-year-old pedestrian and the suspect who was in her car. The female pedestrian and a 69-year-old man sustained non-life threatening gunshot injuries, police said.

June 30 - North York

Officers respond to a call for a person with a firearm inside home. Police say a 16-year-old boy from North York was playing with a gun before it went off, the bullet reportedly travelled into his sibling’s bedroom. No one was hurt.

June 30 - Queen St. West

Jahvante Smart “Smoke Dawg”, 21, and Ernest Modekwe, 28, were shot outside of a nightclub at Queen Street West and Peter Street around 8 p.m. on Saturday June 30. A third victim, a woman, was rushed to hospital and survived. The young men were known in the local hip hop scene; Smart, who toured with Drake on his Boy Meets World tour in 2017, was a member of Halal Gang, a crew of four rappers from the Regent Park area, while Modekwe, known as Koba Prime, hailed from the rap collective Prime. They represent the 49th and 50th homicides of the year.

July 1 – Kensington Market

One day later, not far away, another shooting that turned fatal. This time, it was in Kensington Market. Marcel Teme, 19, was shot on the edge of the bustling neighbourhood, around 10:30 p.m. Officers located four individuals with gunshot wounds, and all were taken to hospital. Teme died of his injuries days later.

July 3 -Downtown Toronto

Police respond to a call for a shooting in the Portland Street and King Street West area on Tuesday July 3 at 2:40 a.m. were a dispute between a group of up to six occurred and one man allegedly discharged a firearm nine times hitting one person in the hip. Police have not yet identified the suspect, who was seen running from the scene.

July 8 - North York

Karim Hirani, pictured to the right, was found with a gunshot wound to his upper body on Sunday July 8 at around 3:30 a.m. in North York, on Driftwood Avenue. The 25-year-old was pronounced dead shortly after. He is homicide 53.

July 9 - North York

Jibri Husani, 39, of Toronto was found with obvious trauma while lying on the ground on Monday July 9 at around midnight in the Black Creek neighbourhood. The mechanic and father of two was pronounced dead soon after. A suspect vehicle was seen fleeing the area with a driver and passenger.

July 22 - Danforth Avenue

Two people were killed and 12 others injured when a man opened fire on patios and crowds of people in Greektown Sunday night. The gunman was also killed, although it's not clear how.

Cover image of police following mass shooting on Danforth Avenue on July 22: Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press