April 22nd, 2024

Two people shot in north Toronto were attacked ‘indiscriminately’: police

By Fakiha Baig and Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press on February 20, 2024.

Toronto Police cars are pictured on Driftwood Avenue in Toronto, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. Police say two people who were shot at the same intersection in a northwest Toronto neighbourhood in less that a day were innocent bystanders who were attacked "indiscriminately." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey

TORONTO – Two people who were shot at the same intersection in a northwest Toronto neighbourhood in less than a day were innocent victims who were attacked “indiscriminately,” police said Tuesday.

Investigators said that while they can’t rule out the possibility that the attacks last Friday and Saturday were related to gang violence, there is no evidence that the two people shot ““ one of them fatally ““ were in any way affiliated with gangs or “anything of that nature.”

The two victims also have no connection with each other or the suspect, they said.

“We believe these two victims were shot indiscriminately,” Det. Phil Campbell said at a news conference. “One person is dead and the other has had their life altered forever.”

Supt. Andy Singh said it’s important to note both of the victims were just going about their day when they were attacked.

“They were completely and utterly innocent, which is a big part of what has caused alarm in this community,” he said.

No arrests have been made but police have released a photo of a suspect and said they found a stolen black Acura linked to the attacks in Hamilton.

The first shooting took place around 6 p.m. Friday when a 16-year-old boy was waiting for the bus alone on his way to a volleyball game, police said.

He was shot in the face, police said, and remains in critical condition with “potentially life-altering” injuries.

On Saturday afternoon, a man was shot while walking by a bus stop at the same intersection, police said. In that case, investigators have said he was shot three times ““ twice in the stomach ““ and later died in hospital.

He has now been identified as Adu Boakye, a 39-year-old man from Ghana who police said came to Toronto last November to support his family.

“Mr. Boakye was a father, an uncle, a nephew and a son,” and leaves behind a wife and four kids, Campbell said.

Residents of the neighbourhood have said the shootings have left them feeling uneasy, with some even opting to avoid taking the bus for some trips.

Police have ramped up their presence in the area of Jane Street and Driftwood Avenue as they investigate the shootings, and are asking anyone with information on what happened to contact them.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2024.

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