Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Video Footage Shows A Toronto Murder In Progress

Tuesday June 24, 2008

CityNews.ca Staff
It appears to be a well planned murder, perfectly executed.
And now Toronto Police - and you - have a pretty good idea of exactly how it happened.

Cops have released security video of a killing in progress, and it appears there were two people involved in the murder of a 19-year-old Toronto man.

It was an act the lead detective calls "an execution" that the victim "never saw coming."
It happened around 1:30am on June 15th, at a pizza parlour at 761 Jane St. near St. Clair, when Claudio Andres Alamos came out of the restaurant to eat his meal on a bench outside the door.
From out of nowhere, a figure approached out of the darkness, pulled a gun and opened fire. The teen succumbed to a single bullet wound and was pronounced dead in hospital.
The video, taken from inside the store and at a nearby building located at 200 Woolner Ave., shows one man inside the restaurant who appears to be signaling to another suspect outside that it's time to make the hit.

At that point, the unknown second man walks up to Alamos and pulls the trigger, before both flee the scene and disappear into the night.
Det. Steve Ryan outlines the sequence of events that took place leading up to the crime.
"What I believe happened is suspect number 2 leaves Woolner and he leaves the building. At 1:28am, he enters the pizza shop. He doesn't ... order any food, and sits down, and looking right at our deceased ... He reaches into his sock. Comes up to his mouth, and at the same time, suspect 1 rounds the corner and shoots our deceased ... one time."

Ryan believes the item in the sock was a cell phone that the second man used to contact the shooter, pointing out the perfect time to catch Alamos unaware. And cops are certain he succeeded. "He was sitting outside of the pizza shop and eating a slice of pizza, and had no idea. Didn't see it coming," he relates.

"I think it was an execution ... committed in our streets. You know, this is what concerns me is that there were 12 people in front of that place and it could have been worse and other people injured and killed for that matter."
Alamos was a troubled kid who insisted on leaving home at age 16. It's believed he became involved in a gang known as The Latin Kings, which could have played a factor in his demise.
But Ryan still isn't sure of the reason he was targeted. "He was no choir boy, for sure," the detective admits. "But having said that, he deserves more than that, and he doesn't deserve to be gunned down in the streets."
Cops have only a limited description of the shooter and the signaler, and think it's possible they may live nearby and are familiar with the area. Their best clues aren't the usual kinds you'll generally find in this kind of case.
Both suspects were black in their 20s, and witnesses told police the thing they remember best about the shooter was what he was wearing. "[They] were described as ugly checkered red shorts knee length in size," Ryan outlines. "I am hoping someone recognizes the shorts, and you can't miss them."

The second man may be better known by the company he keeps. Cops say he's dating a white woman who has two children of her own and is known in the community.
It's a racially charged fact to release, but Ryan thinks it's necessary. "I'm certain that will lead us to the identity," he explains.
If you think you know either suspect, call the Homicide Squad at (416) 808-7400 or Crime Stoppers at (416) 222-TIPS.
Francis D'Souza will walk you through the video and show you the clues to a killing in progress on CityNews at Five and Six.
See the video here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Double Murder Committed With An Illegal Gun: Police

Saturday June 21, 2008
CityNews.ca Staff
The tragedy has sparked a new fervour to end gun violence in the GTA. And although many have called for a complete handgun ban, police say the latest murders were committed with illegal firearms.
Analysis of eight shell casings found at the scene where Dylan Ellis and Oliver Martin were shot June 13 while sitting in their SUV has found that the bullets came from a gun that wasn't legally registered.
A candlelight vigil for the victims of the shooting was held Friday night, one week after the brutal crime. There, friends gathered to remember the two men, who were lifelong friends. They were in the neighbourhood of Richmond Street and Walnut Ave. after visiting friends when they were shot.
Police say a YouTube video that was posted to help generate information in the case is the fourth-most-watched in Canada, receiving over 2,500 views.
You can watch the Crime Stoppers video here.

'Please Help': Mothers Of Double Murder Victims Speak To The Public

Sunday June 22, 2008

CityNews.ca Staff

Teary-eyed, desperate, and holding one another, the mothers of two young men tragically shot while sitting in their SUV spoke to the public Sunday, reaching out for information in the deaths.
Oliver Martin's mother spoke first. She gave a personal account of her son's character, and spoke forcefully about the need to come forward.
"Oliver loved Toronto. It was his city. He loved people. His favourite saying was, 'never look down on anyone unless you're helping them up.' He felt happy, alive, and safe. He was shot in the heart," her wavering voice made out.

"I know there are people out there with information. They must come forward. We need to take back the good."
Dylan Ellis' mother was more visibly shaken.
"Please, please come forward, call crime stoppers, call any police station, get in touch with the investigating officers, just get the information to those who will be able to help us use it to help solve the crime," she pleaded.
"Just help us."
Dylan Ellis and Oliver Martin had just gotten into their SUV near Niagara and Richmond Sts. on June 13th after watching an NBA final at a friend's home. Without warning or motive, a suspect approached from out of the darkness and opened fire on the pair, as a witness sat apparently unseen and terrified in the back seat.
She wasn't harmed, but the two 25-year-olds received fatal wounds and died at the scene. Their tear-filled funerals were held last Wednesday and Thursday.
It won't be easy for Karen Ellis and Susan Martin to make their statements at Police Headquarters Sunday afternoon, with the pain of their loss still so raw and so fresh.
But cops think it's vital they tell the killer what his actions have done to their families and they hope it will spur someone who knows what happened that night to come forward.
It's expected they'll plead for information about the man who so callously took the lives of two such promising young men. Cops think he fled the scene on a mountain bike, and have only a limited description of him.

Light complexion,
Light coloured shirt,
Dark coloured pants.

At first, police believed an aborted carjacking might be behind the senseless slayings. But they're also pondering whether the victims' well-to-do status may have simply rubbed someone the wrong way, resulting in an unthinkable act of needless revenge.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Two-Year Police Probe

Two-Year Police Probe Results In Dozens Of Arrests, Millions In Seized Weapons And Drugs

Thursday June 19, 2008

Police were up before the break of day Thursday, carrying out a series of raids as part of a major operation targeting illegal guns and drug trafficking.

Dozens were taken into custody and millions of dollars in weapons and drugs were seized as part of an extensive two-year investigation dubbed Project Blackhawk. Among the police services involved across the province: Toronto, Peel, York, Guelph, Waterloo, and the OPP.

The suspects were brought to Toronto Police 23 Division in Rexdale Thursday from about 30 different locations across Ontario.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair noted that a tip from U.S. authorities prompted the probe, which apparently uncovered a huge network of drug manufacturing and distribution and gun smuggling.

"The investigation began in 2006 as a result of information received from American law enforcement that 237 handguns had been smuggled into Canada from the United States," he explained.

"The persons involved in the smuggling of these weapons were quickly identified and have been the subjects of an intense, complex and ultimately successful investigation. Focusing on the identified co-conspirators, the investigative strategies of the Blackhawk team uncovered a dynamic and highly successful criminal enterprise operating out of the Greater Toronto Area."

An earlier bust at a Mississauga industrial complex in April, which saw major quantities of drugs seized, was linked to the ongoing Blackhawk investigation.

Blair estimates officers seized dozens of handguns, many of which were linked to a cache of weapons smuggled into Canada in 2006, and large quantities of methamphetamine, ecstasy tablets, cocaine, illegally-manufactured Viagra, marijuana and a large amount of cash. The estimated value of the seized drugs is more than $160 million.

Blair said another update in the case was scheduled for Friday.

There's no word yet on what charges the suspects face, and no names have been released.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Lockdown Ends After Gun Spotted On CampusWatch

Lockdown Ends After Gun Spotted On Campus

Friday June 6, 2008

Reports of a gun sent George S Henry Academy into lockdown Friday morning, but it has now been lifted.

Just weeks after police shut down the North York school for a false alarm, the real thing drew cops to campus.

A 17-year-old male student was allegedly found beaten and bleeding from the head inside the school. His injuries indicate that he may have been pistol-whipped.

"The incident took place prior to the school opening; there's a fair number [of students] in the school," cautioned PC Wendy Drummond of Toronto Police.

Initial reports indicated that the victim was found in the washroom, but police aren't sure if that's the case.

"Finding exactly where things took place is still to be determined after speaking with different witnesses and the victim," explained Drummond. "The exact location of the crime scene is still underway."

Police say other students witnessed the attack, and were able to give a good description of the assailant and his weapon of choice. The victim was taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Heavily armed Emergency Task Force (ETF) officers searched the school classroom by classroom for the suspect and the gun. No shots were reported fired.

"Our utmost concern [is] the staff and students," Drummond makes clear. "As those rooms are cleared, the students [were] taken a separate lodging area, again which [were] guarded by officers."

According to PC Tony Vella of Toronto Police, neither the suspect nor the gun has been found. The suspect is also believed to be 17. He's considered armed and dangerous.

"We are speaking to the witnesses, trying to determine exactly what happened. In this type of situation, it can take hours to find out exactly what occurred," PC Vella outlined.

Students that were inside the school at the time of the lockdown were herded to the cafeteria. Those that were not yet on campus were told to go to 135 Fenelon Drive.

That's also where concerned parents headed.

"This is the second time it's happened. Really I am worried about if this continues again and again," exclaimed parent Saidul Khan.

It's yet another scare for families reeling from the nightmare of a gun sighting a short time ago.

In April, a student claimed she had seen a gun on campus. It turned out she allegedly wanted out of a test. The youth has since been charged.

What Happens During A School Lockdown?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Second Murder In 10 Days Has Residents Demanding Action

Demanding Action

Second Murder In 10 Days Has Residents Demanding Action
Monday May 5, 2008
CityNews.ca Staff

Residents of an east-end high-rise are living in fear after the second murder in their building in less than two weeks.

Police say the latest victim, 16-year-old Mahamed Adbi Warsame, was found dead in a pool of blood after absorbing a horrific beating in the 9th floor stairwell at 25 Cougar Crt.

Less than two weeks before his murder, 22-year-old Ricardo Erik Kelly was found stabbed to death in front of his apartment door in the same Markham and Eglinton high-rise.

With two brutal murders in such a short span, many are considering moving out.

"As a new mother to be, it's concerning," admits one resident. "You bring an infant home here and you have to wonder how safe she's going to be."

"It's really depressing what happened," adds Scotley Johnson. "It's really affecting the whole building, this has happened twice in less than two weeks, so it's kind of scary for the building."

Building management insists they're looking into beefing up security, but ACORN, the community group organizing the tenants, say that should have been done a long time ago.

"My question to management is how many people have to be murdered before something actually changes?" asked ACORN's Tatiana Jaunzems.

Residents say they came close to having three murders at the building this year after another man was found bleeding in a stairwell from a multiple stab wounds. Luckily, he survived.

Second murder in 10 days has residents demanding action

Sat, April 26, 2008
Murder building tenants 'fed up'

Some residents of a troubled apartment building in Scarborough where the city's latest murder victim was slain may regard "snitching" as a bad thing, but it seems others refuse to keep living in fear.

A group called the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now says its members who live at 25 Cougar Court -- the murder scene, and at 15 Cougar Court and 3400 Eglinton Ave. E., plan to deliver a list of demands to their property managers on Monday that includes improved security, maintenance and pest control, among other things.


"Our members who live in these buildings are fed up and frustrated," Tatiana Jaunzems, community organizer for ACORN, said yesterday.

Residents feel the companies that manage their building don't care about their safety, she said.

The tenants are hoping to have more surveillance cameras installed and they would like to see something done to deter the drug dealers and users from loitering in their stairwells and lobbies, Jaunzems said.

People are also angry that it takes so long to get work done when they have a problem in their unit.

"The situation here is ridiculous," ACORN member Robert Strutt said. "I think it's time the Province of Ontario gets involved with cleaning up these buildings."


Meanwhile, an autopsy confirmed yesterday that the city's latest murder victim was stabbed to death.

Ricardo Erik Kelly suffered fatal stab wounds during a fight just after midnight in the hallway outside his 20th-floor apartment in the Markham Rd. and Eglinton Ave. E. area.

Detectives are examining two knives found at the rear of the highrise for fingerprints and DNA.