Arrests in Random Attacks
Chief James Ramer expressed condolences to the families of the victims and reassured the public about their safety while asking them to remain vigilant at a news conference on April 12 at police headquarters.
“They’re the types of incidents that will understandably cause concern in our communities,” Ramer said. “While we appreciate that this news does nothing to ease the suffering of the victims and their families, particularly those now grieving death, I can report that the suspects for all of these incidents are now in police custody. It is my hope that this fact provides at least a sliver of closure for the families.”
Richard Jonathan Edwin, 39, of Toronto, was arrested for First Degree Murder for homicides 19 and 20.
On Thursday, April 7, 2022, at approximately 5 p.m., Toronto Police Service received multiple calls to a shooting at Sherbourne Subway Station. Kartik Vasudev, a 21-year-old student, was located outside the Glen Road entrance suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to hospital where he died as result of his injuries.
Investigators allege that Richard Jonathan Edwin discharged a handgun striking the victim multiple times before fleeing the scene.
On Saturday, April 9, 2022, at approximately 7 p.m., it is further alleged that the accused approached the second victim, 35-year-old Elijah Eleazar Mahepath who was walking westbound on the north side of Dundas Street East near George Street. The accused discharged multiple rounds striking the victim. Again, he fled the scene on foot.
These murders are believed to be random attacks and the victims were not known to the accused or each other. Investigators are working to establish the full motive behind the attacks and these remain active investigations.
Led by the Emergency Task Force, Edwin, was taken into custody the evening of Sunday, April 10, 2022 without incident.
Homicide Detective-Sergeant Terry Browne commended the “remarkable” work of the tactical officers who made the arrest without injury despite several loaded firearms being accessible to the suspect.
He said investigators want to learn more about Edwin.
“We’re doing a very deep dive on his background right now to find out who this person is, where he’s been, who he has been associating with,” Browne said. “With regards to contact with either one of these victims is that we have nothing to suggest he knew either one of these victims… It was what we describe as random. It was a chance meeting, a chance passing for reasons only known to the suspect these two people were victimized and now are dead.”
Anyone with information about the incidents or about Edwin’s background or past behaviour is asked to call Homicide at 416-808-7100 or Crime Stoppers Toronto anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at www.222tips.com.
Chief Ramer believes that further violence was averted through Edwin’s arrest.
“Given that he had already killed two apparent strangers, as we allege, and that a cache of firearms was found at his residence we can reasonably conclude that the quick work of our investigators has prevented a further loss of life,” the Chief said. “My personal opinion is there was going to be more victims, when I don’t know, but he had an arsenal at home and I, quite frankly, believe this might have just been the first step.”
Browne said the security video was crucial in solving this case.
“What we gleaned from the security video evidence alone provided us with great assistance in tracking our suspect from the area he resides to the area of the shooting and then back to his residence,” Browne said.
Chief Ramer also announced the arrest of two other individuals in connection with an axe attack and a stabbing.
On Saturday, April 9, 2022, at approximately 1:30 p.m., in the area of Eglinton Avenue East and Markham Road, police responded to reports of a person with a knife. It is alleged the victim was standing on the sidewalk when he bent down to put some bags on the ground. As he went to stand up, he was struck with an axe on the back of his head. He remains in a stable condition.
With the help of information from the public, the accused was located at a townhouse complex in the Kingston Road and Scarborough Golf Club Road area.
Tristin Theriault, 31, of No Fixed Address, and has been charged with attempt murder, carry a concealed weapon and weapons dangerous.
On Monday, April 11, 2022, at approximately 8:30 a.m., police responded to a stabbing call. Investigators allege that a woman was leaving the subway at Yorkdale Station when she noticed a man walking toward her. The man bumped into her and when she turned around, the man produced a knife.
It is further alleged that the victim tried to run away but the accused caught up to her, knocked her to the ground and stabbed/slashed her with the knife.
A Toronto Transit Commission staff member intervened and restrained the accused, with the assistance of two members of the public, until police arrived on scene
The woman sustained injuries to her upper chest and neck and was transported to hospital to be treated for her injuries.
Yasser Mohamed Aly, 37, of No Fixed Address, has been charged with assault with a weapon, weapons dangerous and assault causing bodily harm.
“While random attacks like these are generally rare, there is no information at this time to suggest that these cases - with the exception of the Sherbourne Street and Dundas Street shootings for which Mr. Edwin has been charged - are connected. There is also no information to suggest these attacks are anything but random acts of violence,” said Chief James Ramer. "I want to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Service who have been working around the clock on all of these cases. While each incident is tragic, the community can rest assured that when events like these occur in our city, it brings the best out in our investigators. It was nothing less than dogged and extraordinary effort that led to these arrests.”
Chief Ramer also noted that police are monitoring the subway shooting in New York City and redeploying more uniform officers to public transit.
“We are asking the members of the public to be vigilant, if you see something, say something,” he said. “Everyone can do their part by contacting police if they see or hear anything suspicious.”