Police are investigating a possible link between the killing of a 24-year-old Toronto man and another shooting that occurred minutes earlier nearby, but say the violence is likely not linked to a rash of other shootings over the weekend.
In a Monday news release, police identified Jaron Williams, 24, as the victim of a fatal shooting at townhome on Lotherton Pathway in Glen Park around 4:23 p.m. on Sunday.
Homicide investigators and gun and gang officers are “investigating potential links” between that shooting and another in nearby Lawrence Heights just 10 minutes earlier, according to the news release.
A 43-year-old man was shot in the earlier incident. He was transported to hospital where he remains in serious but stable condition.
A spate of weekend shootings in Toronto left two people dead and injured nine others. Police say there is no “significant danger” to the public. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
A total of two people were killed and nine injured in a total of six separate incidents over the weekend, said Supt. Steven Watts, speaking to reporters outside police headquarters on College Street on Monday.
Those injured but expected to survive include two teenagers who were standing near a playground in the city’s west end in the middle of the afternoon, Watts said.
“These were different events with different locations,” he said. “I’m not going to comment on certain linkages to certain events, but I don’t feel that the general public is in any danger.”
The spate of shootings began Friday night and ramped up over the weekend.
At 10:40 p.m. on Friday, police responded to an apartment building on Waterton Road in the Weston neighbourhood. Watts said one male victim died and another made his own way to a local hospital with multiple gunshot wounds and is now in non-life-threatening condition.
Saturday saw one shooting in the early morning hours, with police responding to a 7-Eleven on Bathurst Street near Lawrence Heights after 3 a.m. after another male victim walked in with multiple gunshot wounds. He was sent to hospital and is now expected to recover.
Sunday saw the most violence, with four separate shootings over five hours, starting at a Humber Boulevard complex in the Rockcliffe-Smythe neighbourhood north of St. Clair Avenue West.
Two victims, 15 and 17 years old, were in a common courtyard near a playground when they were shot, Watts said. They were taken to hospital before 3 p.m. with serious injuries, but both expected to survive.
The first of the two back-to-back shootings occurred less than two hours later, again in Lawrence Heights, with the shooting of the 43-year-old male victim.
Williams was shot less than 10 minutes later on Lotherton Pathway. Officers found him without vital signs. He died at the scene.
According to police, four suspects were seen fleeing the scene in a beige or champagne-coloured Chevrolet Equinox, 2010-2015 model.
Later on Sunday, just after 8 p.m., in the parking lot of McCowan Road plaza, gunfire broke out at what Watts called an “unsanctioned” car meet-up. Four victims, three males and one female, were injured but are in non-life-threatening condition.
Police have not released any suspect information in the other shootings, but Watts said they believe there were multiple witnesses and potentially dash camera footage from the car meet on Sunday.
Asked about concerns about multiple shootings, Watts said in his experience and from available data the issue of firearms in Toronto continues to be illegally imported guns from the United States.
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Killing of Toronto man, 24, possibly linked to shooting minutes earlier, police say