Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Video released in slaying of Toronto grandmother Peggy Ann Smith

TORONTO - Newly-released blurry video of two men running away after the Riverdale laneway shooting that killed a grandmother may not seem like much.

But it’s better than nothing.

And Toronto Police investigators will no doubt build on the brief video and possibly find clearer images of suspects as they hunt for Peggy Smith’s killer.

“In my opinion, it was a cowardly act,” Det. David Dickinson said Tuesday, while standing in the laneway where Saturday’s deadly shooting occurred .

“We are lucky that there weren’t more injuries,” he added.

Based on security video collected so far, he said two men walked south down the laneway, known as Don Mount Crt., at 6:11 p.m. on Saturday.

The killers approached a group of men standing near where Smith, one of her daughters and two of her young grandchildren were enjoying the evening.

Suddenly, the men opened fire, letting loose a barrage of at least 10 bullets.

When the shots rang out, Smith’s daughter, granddaughter, 11, and grandson, 7, ran up the steps into a townhouse. Smith didn’t make it.

Her family members returned moments later when the shooting had stopped and found her at the bottom of the steps.

“I believe this shooting was targeted,” Dickinson said. “However, I do not believe Peggy or her family present at the time were the intended targets.”

He said the gunmen were likely aiming at the group of about five young men who were steps away from the murder victim.

Dickinson said investigators have spoken to a few of those men, but the others have yet to come forward and remain unidentified.

“I need these men to contact me,” he said sternly.

Dickinson refused to say why the men near Smith might have been targeted or if any of them have ties to the victim’s family members, which include three grown daughters and 13 grandchildren.

After the shooting, the gunmen bolted up the laneway and were last seen on foot at Dundas and Hamilton Sts., just west of Broadview Ave.

Several of Smith’s family members were on hand as Dickinson spoke and were less than impressed by the grainy 12-second video.

“That’s all they got?” said Loretta Smith, the victim’s daughter.

Dickinson admitted the quality of the video is “not great,” but he said it “provides a narrative” of what happened.

A visitation will be held for Smith on Friday, from 4-8 p.m., at Giffen-Mack funeral home, 2570 Danforth Ave. A funeral service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Giffen-Mack.
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