Saturday, June 16, 2018
Sheldon Eriya, 21, of Markham, was arrested Friday, June 16, 2018, and charged with attempted murder and other charges for his alleged role in the shooting of two young sisters in a Scarborough playground a day earlier
The hunt for the “sewer rats” — to borrow a phrase from the mayor — involved in Thursday’s shooting of two young sisters in a Scarborough playground has led to the arrest of a 21-year-old man.
Toronto Police say Sheldon Eriya was taken into custody in Pickering Friday afternoon and now faces seven charges for the shooting at a townhouse complex on Alton Towers Circle that injured the little girls.
The Markham resident was picked up the same day John Tory said police were pulling out all the stops to find the culprits responsible for the shooting near McCowan Rd. and McNicoll Ave.
Mayor John Tory, who visited the townhouse complex Friday to reassure the residents everything was being done to find the perpetrators, praised police for the arrest and explained he has met with the victims’ mother.
“I received two pieces of good news today, the most important being from the mom of the two girls, that they’re both doing very well,” Tory said. “The other was the huge progress made by our Police Service, and I thank them and congratulate them for bringing one person under arrest.”
“I know the task remains in front of them to round up the rest of the people involved in this, and let the justice system run its course,” he said. “We’ve got to get these people off the street and serve notice to everybody else who carries a gun, and who would even think of doing such a thing — they’re going to be rounded up. And we’re going to make sure they’re put away.”
The family affected by the shooting released a statement through the Hospital for Sick Children Saturday evening.
“We wish to send our thanks to the entire community for the outpouring of support during this crisis. The response has been overwhelming and we can’t express our gratitude enough,” the statement read.
“A very special thanks to the police officers and staff of 42 Division, Toronto Chief of Police Mark Saunders, and Mayor John Tory for their tireless efforts and for working round the clock.”
The family also asked for privacy.
“At this time, the focus is on the recovery of the girls,” they said.
There were 11 children in the playground when the gunfire erupted just after 5 p.m.
Between seven and 10 shots were fired into the crowded playground.
A 5-year-old girl was shot in the stomach and her nine-year-old sister was shot in the ankle. Both girls are recovering at Sick Kids hospital after undergoing surgery.
The mayor said street gangs are to blame for most of the shootings in the city.
“We’ve got to get at these gangs, get at these people using guns and trafficking guns,” Tory said. “We have to round them up and lock them up — we can’t put up with this type of behaviour.”
Eriya is charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault, possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, discharging a firearm and possession of the proceeds of crime.
Investigators are still looking for the person who drove the getaway car and a man who was in the park at the time of the shooting and may have been the intended target.
“Police would like to thank the community which has been extremely helpful with this investigation,” Det.-Sgt. Jim Gotell, of 42 Division, said in a statement released Saturday.
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