TORONTO - Yet another young boy, not even old enough to drive, has died from bullets in the city.
Toronto Police say the latest murder victim, the fourth 15-year-old to die by gunfire this year, hung on for two-and-a-half weeks after being shot in a drive-by before finally succumbing to his injuries.
And investigators still don’t know why the teen was gunned down.
“Over the course of the past two weeks, investigators have determined there were numerous witnesses present at the time of this shooting,” Const. Tony Vella said Thursday.
“Police have spoken to some of those witnesses, but we know there were a lot more and we’re encouraging them to come forward.”
The boy, whose name has not been released, was riding a bike in the parking lot at Yorkwoods Plaza, on Jane St. south of Finch Ave. W., around 10 p.m. on July 28 when two men approached in a vehicle and opened fire.
Police have reviewed video from area surveillance cameras, so they know there were at least 20 people nearby when the gunfire erupted.
Some of those people rushed to help the boy after he was shot, but most took off without talking to cops.
The youngster died in hospital on Tuesday, becoming the city’s 37th murder victim of 2013.
Earlier this year a spate of deadly shootings claimed the lives of three 15-year-olds in less than a month.
Tyson Bailey, a prominent football player at Central Tech, was gunned down Jan. 18 in a TCHC highrise in Regent Park.
St. Aubyn Rodney was shot to death Feb. 12 in another government housing complex on Turf Grassway — directly across the street from the North York plaza where the latest 15-year-old murder victim was slain.
Jarvis Montaque was listening to music with friends in front of his townhome in a TCHC complex on Jamestown Cr., near Kipling Ave. and Albion Rd., when he was shot dead from point blank range on Feb. 17.
At the time, Homicide Det. Joyce Sherzer called the Grade 10 student’s killing “sad, pointless and frustrating.”
On Apr. 3, yet another 15-year-old was shot in a drive-by while walking with friends on Varna Dr., near Lawrence Ave. and Allen Rd.
He managed to survive.
But the GTA’s most disturbing incident of gun violence so far this year was on Jan. 23, when nine-year-old Kesean Williams was shot through the living room window of his Brampton home as he watched television.
A 17-year-old friend faces manslaughter in Rodney’s death, but the other killers all continue to roam the streets — largely because witnesses all too often remain tight-lipped.
In the wake of the latest boy’s death, homicide detectives have taken over the investigation and are appealing for help catching the teen’s killer.
Anyone with information in any of the unsolved murders is urged to call the homicide unit at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
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