Monday, March 17, 2008

Cops Release Chilling Security Video Of A Murder In Progress

Monday March 17, 2008 Staff

The video that accompanies this story is very disturbing. Discretion is advised.

It is a chilling video and if you watch it, you'll see a cold blooded murder in action.

But you'll also see something else - the gunman responsible and another man police desperately want to talk to.

The shooter is the person police say walked boldly up a path towards 87 Amaranth Court in the Dufferin and Allen area on Friday night, pulled a gun and without a second's pause, began firing straight at the six men assembled in front of a Lawrence Heights housing complex.

He then backs away while still firing and both he and the other man are seen fleeing in the opposite direction.

See the video here

Cops have taken the controversial step of releasing the shocking scene from security video at the building, hoping someone knows who the shooter is - and why he did it.

Police admit it's a disturbing bit of footage but think it's important the public be able to see it. "He simply walked up within 10 feet of the group, got their attention and without warning, opened fire while walking backwards," explains Det. Sgt. Brian Borg.

He adds the gunman intended to inflict as much damage as possible, and in that goal at least, he succeeded. By the time the suspect fled, six people, aged 18 to 21, were all down. One of them, 18-year-old Abdikarim Ahmed Abdikarim, was dead, struck in the head by one of the bullets.

But it's what the video doesn't show that's equally frightening. The men were standing at the entrance to the building, unable to go forward - where the shots were coming from - and trapped by two walls on either side. Their only avenue of retreat was the door behind them - and it was locked tight. There was nowhere for them to run and no way for them to get out of the way.

Cops refuse to say how many bullets were fired, but indicate some of the victims were hit by the same projectiles. But Borg takes pains to note the six people shot weren't doing anything wrong, nor were they known to have been involved in anything that would have attracted the attention of the law.

"Our investigation to date shows that these young men, at the time of the incident, were not engaged in any criminal conduct or behaviour ... Simply put, they were there socializing, as they often did ... every Friday night."

But he makes it clear they were the intended targets and that the gunman didn't miss.

Cops especially want to talk to the person seen walking up to the scene with the killer. They aren't sure if he knew what was coming or was taken by surprise when the shootings began.

Detectives still have no motive but say the victims are cooperating, something they don't always get in cases like this. Their only description of the suspect is vague:

160-170 lbs.,
Facial hair on the chin,
Possible chipped tooth.
He was wearing a long white shirt under his black jacket and a baseball cap with a white logo. He was armed with a silver handgun, which cops say was the only weapon involved.

A silver or grey car was seen speeding away from a nearby parking lot after the shooting and authorities have yet to find it.

Police have increased patrols in the area to try and reassure residents but few are feeling more secure.

Abdikarim's murder was the 11th homicide in Toronto this year.

If you have any information, call the Homicide Squad at (416) 808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at (416) 222-TIPS.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

North York Gunfire Kills Teen, Wounds Five Others

North York Gunfire Kills Teen, Wounds Five Others
Saturday March 15, 2008 Staff

Toronto suffered its 11th homicide of 2008 Friday night, but as hard as it is to imagine, the tragedy could have been much greater.

An 18-year-old was gunned down, but five others were also taken to hospital following the gunfire on Amaranth Court near Lawrence and Allen Rd. just before 10pm. All are expected to pull through after suffering wounds to the arms and legs.

Exactly what led to the brazen shooting - which occurred near a playground and in a courtyard directly behind several homes - isn't clear, but police allege a group of men were assembled on the street when they were confronted by at least one gunman.

Abdikarim Ahmed Abdikarim, 18, was hit in the head and later died in hospital.

Police spent Saturday canvassing the area for clues, though detectives insist the biggest lead comes from a security camera in the area.

"There is video surveillance which we are reviewing at this time," confirmed Toronto Homicide Det. Sgt. Brian Borg. "Which we hope will be able to provide us with a better description of the persons who are responsible."

Those that live nearby were understandably shaken Saturday.

"It's kind of shocking just to know that I'm living right here," said Simone Gordon, who lives just steps from where the bullets flew.

"It's scary," added Fortune Jones. "I'm pretty comfortable coming out in my area but now ... I'm thinking."

Witnesses at the scene reported seeing a silver or grey four-door vehicle driving out of the area after the shootings. Police are looking for at least two suspects.

If you can help with the investigation call the Toronto Police Homicide Squad at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.