Teen facing murder charge
On January 19 at around 11.30 p.m., officers from 55 Division responded to a shooting call in the underground parking garage of an apartment building in the Pape Ave. and Gamble Ave. area.
They located a 15-year-old boy suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.
At a press conference outside police headquarters on January 21, D/Sgt. Rob Choe of the Homicide Unit said police also seized two handguns and ammunition during the investigation.
“Both families in this case are understandably devastated,” he said. “We are supporting them in the best way that we can. Although we are not looking for any other suspects, we are still in the midst of our investigation.”
The 13-year-old made his first court appearance this morning at Ontario Youth Court.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homicide Unit at (416) 808-7400, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−TIPS (8477), online at 222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook.
Staff Superintendent Lauren Pogue said the loss of life is traumatic for the victim’s loved ones as well as communities.
“In this case, the involvement of two teen boys is almost unimaginable and, as a community, we should be devastated,” the head of Detective Operations pointed out. “It is a sad and unfortunate example of the proliferation of handguns in our city.”
Pogue said firearms investigators will be relentless in their efforts to determine the origin of the firearms.
“However, it has been our experience that the majority of firearms we are seizing in this city are coming across the border from the United States,” she pointed out. “We are doing what we can to stem this tide and we hope to share more with you about our efforts in the future. It is only one part of the disturbing increase in gun violence we have seen over the last several months.”
To combat the increase in shooting incidents, the Service has taken a distinctive and strong investigative stance through the introduction of the Centralized Shooting Response Teams (CSRT).
The CSRT is comprised of eight investigative teams that attend and investigate all firearm discharge incidents, including shots fired in the air, events that result in damage to property and incidents where persons are not shot at and missed or struck by a projectile.
The Gun and Gang Task Force seized eight unauthorized firearms and a large quantity of narcotics last weekend after the arrest of a 52-year-old Toronto man.
While investigative response is key, Pogue added that the Service is also proactively deploying resources to communities most affected, providing a visible policing presence, reassurance and the building relationships with residents.
“This work starts with our Neighbourhood Community Officer Program, a program we will be expanding in 2022,” she noted. “We are also working more closely than ever with our City of Toronto partners. Gun violence is an issue with many layers of complexity and trauma. As we’ve said many times, it cannot be the sole responsibility of the police.
“This is why the Toronto Police Service has been clear that gun violence needs a coordinated multi-sectoral response and why we have been working with the City in a more holistic way. And while not evident in this recent homicide, the Service is focused on two other key contributors to violence in Toronto, gang activity and the illicit drug trade. We will continue to address these three issues with the resources and attention that they deserve. We will continue to build partnerships with our communities and we will continue to build trust within the neighbourhoods most impacted. We will do this because we cannot continue to have young men, boys really, victimized by gun violence.”