The 48 homicides Toronto has suffered so far this year is more than double the 23 murders at this point last year, and higher than the two years before that.It started Saturday lunchtime with a fight at a shopping plaza and ended with the body of a man being wheeled past apartment residents early Monday morning — five murders in Toronto in a span of just 38 hours.
It is an unusual tally.
The 48 homicides Toronto has suffered so far this year is more than double the 23 murders at this point last year, and higher than the two years before that, as well. The weekend spike is easily eclipsed in scale, however, by the 10 homicides in a span of minutes earlier this year in the Toronto van attack, an extraordinary incident that inflates this year’s statistical as well as emotional toll.
Several of Toronto’s recent slayings have been inordinately public, not only the van attack but also last week’s death of a 73-year-old man who was allegedly pushed into the path of a subway train as he stood on a busy transit platform.
It all creates increased anxiety about crime, a feeling Toronto Mayor John Tory has said will be a priority for him and Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders.
Since 2004, Toronto had an average of 65.3 homicides each year, although year-to-year it fluctuated from a low of 51 in 2011 to a high of 86 in 2007, according to data provided by the Toronto Police Service.
Toronto police remove the body of a man that was shot at an apartment building on Sherbourne St. north of Dundas on June 25, 2018. Veronica Henri/Postmedia Network
These are the incidents from a 36-hour weekend spree now being added to the city’s homicide statistics:
Saturday, June 23, at 12:33 p.m.:
Police were called to a fight outside a discount grocery store at a shopping plaza in the Martin Grove Road and John Garland Boulevard area of Etobicoke. One man was down and another man fleeing when police arrived. Officers found the victim, a man who appeared to have been stabbed, without vital signs. He was taken to hospital on an emergency run but was pronounced dead at the hospital. A 30-year-old Toronto man was arrested shortly after and charged with first-degree murder. The victim’s name has not been released.
Sunday, June 24, at 1:56 a.m.:
Jenas-Nyarko Toronto Police Service
A silver Cadillac SUV slowed to a stop beside a car parked on Old Meadow Lane near Replin Road in North York. A passenger in the rear seat of the passing SUV fired a shot through the window, striking a woman, who was in the back seat of the car, in the chest. Paramedics tried to save her at the scene but she died of her injuries in hospital. She was identified as Jenas Nyarko, 31, of Toronto. She had just returned from a funeral and was with three others in the car. Police said the shooting appears to be people from another neighbourhood coming and randomly shooting the first local residents they saw. “This is a horrific crime because that could have been anybody,” said Saunders. Police released video of the drive-by shooting in a plea for information. Saunders attributed it to “street gang subculture.”
Sunday, June 24, at 2:13 a.m.:
Just a few minutes later, reports of a shooting in the Lightwood Drive and Sanagan Road area brought police to a house in Etobicoke. Officers say gunmen knocked on the door of the home and started shooting when a man inside opened it. Multiple shots were fired into the home. Police found two men inside — Patrick McKenna, 20, and Dalbert Allison, 40, both of Toronto — with obvious trauma from gunshots. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Victims Patrick McKenna, 20, and Dalbert Allison, 40. Toronto Police Service
Monday, June 25, at 2:30 a.m.:
Police and paramedics were called to a Toronto Community Housing complex at 251 Sherbourne St., near Dundas Street E., early Monday for reports of more gunfire. Inside a third-floor apartment, officials found a man, obviously dead with gunshot injuries. He appeared to have been shot in the back and was pronounced dead inside the apartment. He is believed to have been in his late 30s or early 40s. His name has not been released. Police are reviewing video footage for clues.
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