Tuesday, June 7, 2016

SUV Bullet Riddled as Man Gunned Down at Yonge and Eglinton in Toronto

TORONTO - Gunfire erupted in broad daylight in a bustling midtown neighbourhood Tuesday leaving a man dead inside a bullet-riddled SUV.

The shooting — the latest blood spilled in a year plagued by gun violence — unfolded around 2:50 p.m. on Cowbell Lane, a well-travelled alley just steps from Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave.

Many area residents heard the gunshots ring out and were shocked by the violence in their normally peaceful neighbourhood.

“It was like a quick, loud bang, bang, bang, bang,” Irtz Shah, 22, said shortly afterward, explaining he heard at least six shots in quick succession from his home on nearby Holly St.

“I never thought this could happen (here),” he added.

Toronto Police received numerous 911 calls about a vehicle being shot up. Officers raced to the scene and found a white Range Rover parked in the laneway, about 100 metres north of Soudan Ave.

Inside the high-end SUV, they found the lifeless body of a man behind the wheel, slumped over onto the passenger’s side.

The driver’s side window was riddled with at least 14 bullet holes and the alley was littered with empty shell casings.

Police say two men wearing construction vests, one orange and one green, were seen fleeing in a black car.

Insp. Reuben Stroble, of nearby 53 Division, said the neighbourhood is not considered one of the city’s crime “hot spots.”

“So for us this is a big surprise for this area, especially at this time of day,” he said at the scene. “We’re all shocked by this.”

Stroble stressed “Toronto is a safe city” compared to other urban centres with comparable populations.

Nick Giordano was across the street in a home his family has owned for 70 years when the bullets began to fly.

“It’s just unimaginable,” the 59-year-old said.

Hayley Morrison, who lives in nearby condo, called the murder “really scary.”

“I’m wishing it wasn’t in our area,” she said. “I wish it wasn’t anywhere, but especially not in our area.”

The slain man, whose name and age were not immediately available, is the city’s 33rd murder victim of the year — not including the three-week-old baby of recent shooting victim Candice Rochelle Bobb, who died Sunday.

And 21 of this year’s killings have been by gunfire, more than double the nine gun deaths at this time in 2015.

The murder also comes on the heels of a violent weekend that saw four victims shot, including a 10-year-old boy, and five stabbed.
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