Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Vaughan murder: 'I heard gunshots ... Pop-pop-pop'

TORONTO - One man is dead and another injured after a late night shooting in Vaughan.

York Regional Police responded to a call about gunshots at a home on Via Borghese St. - in the area of Major MacKenzie and Pine Valley Drs. - around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Upon arrival, officers discovered two men suffering from gunshot wounds outside the home.

Police say Gul Mohammed Alakoozi, 32, of Ajax, died at the scene. The second victim, a 26-year-old Toronto man, was rushed to hospital and is "expected to survive," Const. Andy Pattenden said.

When asked if it appeared to be a targeted shooting, Pattenden said he "can't say that at this point, but it's probably safe to say it's not a random act."

Police say they have been told that “multiple male suspects” fled the scene on foot and “likely left the area in a vehicle that was parked nearby.”

The suspects are described as black males, wearing dark clothing including hooded sweatshirts.

Roman Chirokob, 26, told reporters his mother was smoking on the front porch of their home, a few doors down from the house currently at the centre of the crime scene, when she heard gunshots.

"Then two minutes later, she'd seen two guys take off from the house, cross the street, into the forest," he said.

He was inside his house but heard the shots as well.

"I heard gunshots, like, six in a row," Chirokob said. "Pop-pop-pop. Then I came outside and like two or three minutes later, the police came. It was quick."

An ambulance followed soon after, he added. He saw one man undergo CPR on scene and another whisked away by paramedics.

"I couldn't go to sleep, I was sitting on my porch watching what was going on," Chirokob said.

He knew the residents of the home where the shooting occurred only as neighbours, describing them as a family consisting of one couple around 30 years old with a "little kid" and an older couple living with them.

But the victims of Tuesday night's shooting were not his neighbours, he explained.

"I was trying to see if it was my neighbour," Chirokob said. "Then half an hour later I'd seen him come out of the house all okay, walking with the detective. So he was okay. And then I see his wife with the little kid."

Police are expected to update the media later today.

While witnesses in the neighbourhood have cooperated with police, investigators are still asking for anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the incident to contact the homicide unit at 1-866-876-5423 ex. 7865 or at

Police are also looking for any footage from surveillance cameras in the neighbourhood.
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