Thursday, July 19, 2012

Toronto Shootings!

Fourth Toronto Shooting in as Many Days
Matthew Coutts, CTV Toronto
Published Thursday, Jul. 19, 2012
Toronto police are investigating the fourth shooting death in as many days after the body of a man was found in a north-end school yard Thursday morning.
A man believed to be in his 20s was discovered suffering gunshot wounds shortly after 1 a.m. near the Flemington Public School, in the Lawrence Avenue and Allen Road area.
Police said officers were called to the area by reports of gunshots. After a brief search, the body was found near the school’s playground. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The victim’s name has not been released. He is the city’s 30th homicide of the year.
Det. Mick Carbone said police would speak to witnesses and continue to canvass the neighbourhood through the morning.
The shooting death comes on the heels of the murder of 42-year-old Clayton Wright. Wright died after being shot once in the chest at the end of a soccer game near Jane Street and Eglinton Avenue, Tuesday night.
On Monday, Shyanne Charles, 14, and Joshua Yasay, 23, were killed at a block party in Scarborough’s Kingston-Galloway neighbourhood. Twenty-three others were hit by bullets when a confrontation led to a violent and public gunfight.
Scarborough residents reluctant to talk about shooting
CBC News
Posted: Jul 18, 2012
A walk for peace was held Wednesday in the Scarborough neighbourhood where 25 people were shot on Monday night, but some residents in the area say talking about what happened with police is something else altogether.
The walk took place in the east-end Toronto neighbourhood where Joshua Yasay, 23, and Shyanne Charles, 14, were killed at a street party attended by more than 100 people. Police have yet to make an arrest.
Dozens of people, many of them women and their children, walked to reclaim the neighbourhood, chanting for peace and at one point taking a pledge to take a stand and make a difference. The need to rally the community to come forward has become a common topic since the shooting.
Neighbourhood resident Susan Fullerton said people are reluctant to come forward.
"The first thing the police would have to do is tell the people how they're going to help them after they talk," she said.
"If the police is going to give people some major guarantee that you are going to be protected and what you say to me will stay here or whatever, quite likely people will talk. But I think that black people feel to a large extent nobody cares."
One woman who didn't want to be identified asked, "What does doing right get the rest of us?"
"What's another black kid being buried?" she said. "You guys may not say it, but a lot of people feel it."
One man said: "I've seen what happened in my old area. People were killed for that stuff, for talking to reporters and police and stuff like that."
Grandfather pleads for information
The concern from residents comes as Shyanne Charles's grandfather pleads for anyone with information to come forward.
"No more hiding, no more secrecy. What you know, let it come forward so my granddaughter's death won't have to be in vain," Tyrone Charles said at a Tuesday evening vigil at the home where Shyanne lived.
The 14-year-old girl was killed along with Yasay, of Ajax, Ont., after police say a dispute between two individuals at a crowded block party erupted into gunfire.
Charles said it was time to take a stand.
"Save other kids like her from the same gun violence," he said. "Us, parents in the community, we could do more."
Conservative Senator Don Meredith had similar comments on Wednesday.
If people don't speak up, "we empower the criminals in this neighbourhood and other neighbourhoods across the city," he said. "So they want to take back their communities, they have to come out en masse and say, 'We will not tolerate this. We will not stand for guns on our streets, we will not stand for you coming and shooting up our neighbourhood.' "
Officers are investigating whether gangs were involved in the shooting and warned there is a potential for retaliatory violence.
Police have said more than one weapon was used and a gun was recovered from the scene.
There was still a heavy police presence at the site on Wednesday, with a forensics team investigating inside a home where the party started, and dogs from the canine unit checking for gun residue outside.
Tuesday evening vigil
Hundreds attended a vigil Tuesday evening as mourners, some carrying candles or flowers, sang and cried together. One of the Shyanne's friends, Natasha Wong, described her as a nice, outgoing girl.
"Now that she's gone, it's hard to believe," she said.
Jam Johnson, a youth worker who runs a local basketball program, said Wednesday that Charles used to help him out.
“Why her particularly?," he said. "Only God knows the answers to that. Maybe it’s a wake-up call for everybody.”
Yasay was working for a security company and had recently graduated with an honours bachelor of arts in criminology from York University.
He also coached basketball and had volunteered with the Learning Disabilities Association of Toronto for two years.
For his family, it was still too early to speak about the crime and their loss.
"We're dealing now with funeral arrangements," said his older sister, Jennilyn Yasay. "We haven't even seen Joshua yet…It's still fresh right now."
Jennilyn Yasay said the family was still waiting to see her brother's body, which is being kept at the chief coroner's office in Toronto.
The surviving victims ranged in age from a 22-month-old toddler, who received a “grazing injury,” to a 33-year-old man, police have said. CBC News has learned that the 22-month-old is now home and is feeling better.
The brazen attack comes in the wake of a number of other high-profile shootings, including one at Toronto's Eaton Centre that left two people dead.
And on Tuesday night, Toronto police were investigating another shooting death in the city's west end. A man in his 40s was shot and killed in a parking lot.
Toronto shooting: Mayor Rob Ford says gang members should leave the city
Daniel Dale
Urban Affairs Reporter,
Published on Wednesday July 18, 2012
Continuing his tough talk in response to the Scarborough shooting that killed two and injured 23, Mayor Rob Ford called Wednesday for gang members to leave the city.
Ford also said he will meet with Premier Dalton McGuinty on Monday to ask for more money for policing, not for social programs.
Speaking to CP24’s Stephen LeDrew, Ford said his visit to the crime scene affected him deeply.
“It just tore my heart apart. And I just thought, this is not the city that we live in, this is — I was mad. More than upset, I was mad. I said, ‘Enough’s enough.’ I’m lookin’ around, and I said, ‘I’m not gonna sit here, I’m gonna be proactive.’ I talked to the premier, got a hold of the premier, called the prime minister’s office, I said, ‘I want meetings. I want something to be done.’ I want these people out of the city. And I’m not going to stop. Not put ’em in jail, then come back and you can live in the city. No. I want ’em out of the city. Go somewhere else. I don’t want ’em living in the city anymore,” Ford said.
He returned to the point later in the interview. “We have to send a message. Three years for possession of a handgun? That’s nonsense. You should do some serious hard time, and not come back here. Once you come out, out of jail, get out of the city. Go somewhere else,” he said.
It was not clear if Ford meant that he wants legislative changes to prevent convicted gang members from returning. His spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Ford said he will ask Prime Minister Stephen Harper to lengthen sentences for gun offences. He said he will ask McGuinty for more funding for the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS) police teams that target high-crime neighbourhoods.
McGuinty’s government announced last year that it was giving another $10 million to TAVIS over two years, bringing the total to about $35 million since 2006. McGuinty suggested Tuesday that expiring funding for programs in Toronto’s 13 “priority neighbourhoods” could now be extended, but Ford indicated Wednesday that he is not interested in the offer.
“I don’t really believe that handing out free money is a solution,” Ford said.
McGuinty’s office said the premier called a meeting with Ford, Attorney-General John Gerretsen, Children and Youth Services Minister Eric Hoskins and Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur.
Ford is a staunch law-and-order conservative, but his effort to cut the city’s budget has resulted in a two-year police hiring freeze. Councillor Adam Vaughan, a Ford critic and former police board member, argued that the force would not be able to quickly make use of additional TAVIS funding.
Ford’s comments followed a strongly worded Tuesday afternoon statement in which he called the shooters “idiot thugs” and said the city must “declare war” on gangs. That statement came hours after a crime scene media scrum in which he drew criticism from some quarters for calmly calling the shooting “isolated” and urging residents to “move on and carry on with their life.”
The novel request to gang members prompted new criticism.
“He’s just out of his depth,” Vaughan said. “We need a serious conversation on what to do about this issue, and these kinds of — I don’t even know what to call them — flights of fantasy from the mayor are quite frankly not based in any reality or city I understand.”
Ford repeated his mantra that “the best social program is a job.” He also noted that council last week approved $16 million in grants to community groups — while declining to say that he was the only member of council to vote against the grants.
In June, he cast a solo vote against accepting federal money to extend a gang prevention program. That program, which does not cost the city money, is designed to help young people considered at risk of gang involvement transition into legitimate employment.
Ford’s outspoken ally Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti said Wednesday that he will ask council in the fall to impose a 10 p.m. curfew for anyone 14 and younger unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
A curfew, Mammoliti said, would keep young teens away from “gangbangers out recruiting at 2 a.m.” It would also penalize “irresponsible parents,” he said, who would face sanctions ranging from a fine to a call from Children’s Aid.
Council rejected a similar proposal from Mammoliti after the so-called “summer of the gun” in 2005, and a curfew was part of his mayoral platform before he dropped out of the race in 2010. It is already illegal in Ontario for people under 16 to loiter unaccompanied in a public place between midnight and 6 a.m., though the law is not strictly enforced.
Ford said he is “very, very upset” about the shooting but believes the city remains the safest in the world.
“I’m gonna emphasize — it’s isolated. You don’t see it happening now. You don’t see it every day,” he said.
With files from Robert Benzie and Robyn Doolittle
Teenage girl, Ajax man killed in Toronto shooting
25 people struck by gunfire at neighbourhood block party
CBC News
Posted: Jul 17, 2012
Friends and family are mourning two young people who lost their lives in one of the bloodiest shootings in Toronto’s history.
Toronto police say that at least 100 people were attending a block party when shots rang out on Danzig Street at about 10:40 p.m. Monday.
Twenty-five people were hit when the shots were fired and two of those people died.
Police said Tuesday that Shyanne Charles, a 14-year-old Toronto girl who was set to start high school in the fall, was one of the two persons killed.
Friends told CBC News that Charles was a generous person, a good student and a role model.
Faith Black, who knew Charles since she was little, said she first heard about the girl's death late Monday night. She described Charles as a good student who never got in any trouble.
"I'm still in denial, it hasn't really hit me yet," Black said. Charles, who played basketball at her school, was about to enter Grade 9 in September.
Kionna Jones, a former schoolmate of Charles, said she last spoke to her friend a few weeks ago. Jones said she is not very athletic, but that Charles would help her with basketball.
"She was always generous and joyful. She was always up and about. She would never put anybody down," said Jones.
"She was really nice and good person to look up to."
Slain man died with dreams of joining police
Joshua Yasay, 23, was working for a security company at the time of his death, but he wanted to become a police officer.
Police identified him as the other victim who died at the scene of the Danzig Street shooting.
The Ajax, Ont., man had earned an honours degree in criminology from York University. He graduated in June of last year.
Yasay also coached basketball and had volunteered with the Learning Disabilities Association of Toronto for two years.
"Joshua truly was one of those special mentors that was making a difference and working toward equalizing the playing field for all youth in his community," the association said in a statement it released to CBC News on Tuesday.
"His contribution will be much missed. Our sincerest condolences are sent to his family and friends."
His employer also said that Yasay was someone who could be depended upon.
"Our prayers and thoughts are with Joshua's family during this unimaginable tragedy and we think of the other victims as well,” said Paul Eccleston, the director of client services at Paragon Security.
"Joshua was a remarkable employee and the Paragon family are going to miss him immensely."
Also See:
Toronto the Good
22 September 2010