Sunday, April 21, 2013
The gun pipeline: ‘Cop killer’ among Toronto’s favourite handgun
An entry-level handgun on Toronto’s streets.
A few hundred dollars more buys the status and higher quality of a Glock, like the cops on TV use. Sleeker and sturdier than the Hi-Point.
Much rarer and pricier is the FN Five-seveN Herstal — “an assault rifle that fits in your pocket.” After Toronto police took one off a man in 2010, an officer testified that finding the gun scared him because “those bullets can shoot through (my) vest.”
The Mexican drug cartels have nicknamed it the “cop killer.”
These are some of the guns on Toronto streets — guns that kids, drug dealers and criminals with multiple gun possession convictions are carrying for protection, style, intimidation or worse.
An ongoing Star investigation shows border patrols are catching fewer guns at the same time as Toronto criminals’ demand for guns grows.
Smith & Wesson, Ruger and other brands are also popular but “ultimately it really depends on what the firearm trafficker has access to,” said Toronto guns and gangs Det. Michael Grierson.
Bought for a fraction of the price stateside, run up Interstate 75 and smuggled across the porous border to Toronto, the guns are stashed, often in shoeboxes hidden in closets, ready to spill into neighbourhoods, malls and apartment buildings.
In the past 12 months, in venues sometimes crowded with innocent bystanders, the bullets have been wayward and indiscriminate.
A shooting in the Eaton Centre food court killed two and injured six. Two innocent bystanders were killed and 23 others — including a toddler — wounded after gang members opened fire at a block party on Danzig St.
Since the beginning of 2013, four 15-year-olds have been shot, three of them killed.
Toronto police seize about 900 crime guns each year. They come in a variety of sizes, calibres, colours and prices.
A Desert Eagle comes in a gold finish for those drawn to the “bling,” one officer told the Star. “Considered the biggest, baddest handgun,” said another. Unlike a small .22-calibre “deuce deuce” pistol, this .50-calibre handgun is difficult to conceal. “I f***ing want that,” a Toronto gang member recently told an associate offering a Desert Eagle for sale.
Revolvers, also known as “spinners” because of their rotating cylinders, are making a comeback. Unlike semi-automatic handguns, revolvers, if fired at a crime scene, do not spit a spent shell-casing onto the ground.
From this city’s growing menu of handguns, Toronto criminal Khumane Agil recently added a Beretta to his collection.
On a homemade videos recorded with his cellphone, Agil is seen releasing the magazine of a Beretta and sliding it out, displaying cartridges inside.
“You see these in your brain?” he said. “Can you read that? Huh? . . . It’s the limited edition motherf----er,” he said, holding the gun close to the camera, the word “Beretta” visible on the barrel. “Na means? You will lose your brain.” Then the click-clack of Agil racking the slide and loading a bullet in the chamber.
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