TORONTO - The city has endured a deadly start to 2016, but the head of the homicide squad says the murder spike is simply an “anomaly” at this point.
There were 10 murders in Toronto last month, including eight by
gunfire — a 300% increase compared to January 2015. The eight gun
murders doubles the combined total from the month of January in 2013,
2014 and 2015.
“We need more time to establish whether or not it’s a trend,”
Staff-Insp. Greg McLane said Tuesday. “But at this point in time, it is
He acknowledges “guns are becoming more and more prevalent in our
society,” but says the gun violence in Toronto hasn’t spiralled out of
Shootings such as the one in Chinatown early Sunday, which killed two
men and wounded three other people, happen “from time to time” but are
not “the norm,” he said.
“A lot of times these homicides result from lifestyle, a criminal
lifestyle, drugs, prostitution and other criminal offences,” McLane
said, adding more often than not the victim and killer knew one another.
However, he admitted “there are a lot of guns out there.”
“There are more people carrying guns and they’re not afraid to use
them,” McLane said. “It doesn’t take much for them to pull a gun out and
use it against some unsuspecting individual.”
Numerous police sources, including some senior officers, have told
the Sun they believe the gun violence is directly tied to the suspension
of street checks — also known as carding.
Criminals are carrying guns on our streets because they no longer
fear getting caught, say sources, some of whom predicted back in 2014
that shootings in the city would increase.
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