Teen is fifth young man to die from gun violence in 2013
Chris Kitching and Sandie Benitah, cp24.com
Published Monday, February 18, 2013 5:06AM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 18, 2013 5:28PM EST
Toronto police will hold a news conference Tuesday to keep the public up to date on their investigation into the murder of a 15-year-old boy this weekend -- the fifth young man to die from gun violence this year.
Jarvis Montaque was fatally shot in Rexdale late Sunday night. He was a Grade 10 student who split his time between Canada and Jamaica, according to police.
He died in hospital after a shooting on Jamestown Crescent, near John Garland Boulevard and Kipling Avenue, shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday.
Homicide squad Det. Joyce Schertzer said Montaque was not known to police, he lived with his family in the Jamestown Crescent community, and he did not have many friends outside of his extended family.
“He pretty much stayed within that community,” Schertzer told CP24 reporter Cam Woolley on Monday.
Montaque studied in Canada and spent his summers in Jamaica, Schertzer said.
The boy was a student at Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary School.
No one has been charged in his death.
Victim shot at close range
According to police, the shooting occurred as a group of people was standing on a paved walkway in front of a home at a housing complex on Jamestown Crescent.
Police said a lone male walked up to the group and shot the victim at close range before fleeing.
Schertzer said police had downloaded a lot of security footage from surveillance cameras around the neighbourhood and that detectives were analyzing the video.
Investigators have created a YouTube video they hope will get people’s attention and will encourage witnesses to come forward.
So far, a lot of people have come forward to police with details on what they saw and heard.
“Nothing has crystallized this far,” Schertzer said. “We are still hopeful.”
NDP MP Olivia Chow spoke out about gun violence in the House of Commons last week but on Sunday, she reiterated her belief that more could be done to keep young people safe.
"We must deal with youth violence -- we must do more," she told CP24 during a Family Day public skating event at Christie Pitts Monday afternoon. "We have to give hope to young people. Programs, get role models, teach life skils, skating or basketball or something rather than joining a gang. Some young people can be role models in their own neighbourhood for younger kids."
She says authorities need to have a permanent anti-gang strategy that is not based on individual projects or cases.
She also called for more support for police who have long said that witness protection programs need a boost.
Condolences for the family
Chow offered her condolences to the teen's grieving family, noting that their sorrow is compounded by the fact it's Family Day.
Relatives and friends visited Montaque’s family throughout the day to offer their condolences.
“I don’t think the family is doing too well,” Sammy, a family friend, told CP24. “They’re trying to keep up with this sad news.”
Sammy described Montaque is a joyful and quiet kid who didn’t have many friends in Toronto and was focused on his studies.
“He was a nice kid, a very good kid,” Sammy said.
In response to the shooting, Sammy added his voice to the repeated calls for an end to gun violence.
“It’s so sad to see that he left us at this age. We all feel it,” Sammy said. “I hope all these guys stop the craziness. I’m begging them to stop the craziness that is going on with the guns.
“I hope this sends a message to all the young people that we’ve got to put away the guns and the violence and become friends,” he said.
Anyone with information about the homicide is asked to call police at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
Montaque is Toronto's eighth homicide victim of 2013.
In a statement, Toronto Community Housing Corp. president and CEO Gene Jones and board chair Bud Purves offered their condolences to the teen’s family and to residents of the Thistletown 1 complex.
“We are extremely saddened that another senseless act of gun violence has claimed the life of a young person in one of our communities,” the pair said in the statement. “For another young person to lose his life this way is not just tragic, it is unacceptable. Gun violence affects everyone in the city, and more must be done to get guns off the streets of Toronto.”
Sunday's shooting occurred in the same neighbourhood where Suleiman Ali and Warsame Ali, both 26, were killed in an early-morning shooting Sept. 18, 2012. The men were not related.
The double homicide remains unsolved.
TCHC said it is committed to working with police, the city, its tenants and other agencies to find “immediate and long-term solutions” to gun violence.
Four teens, 1 boy fatally shot
Montaque is the fifth young man to be fatally shot in Toronto in 2013.
Last Monday, 15-year-old St. Aubyn Rodney died after he was shot in the stomach at an apartment block on Turf Grassway, near Jane Street and Finch Avenue West. Police charged a 17-year-old male with manslaughter.
On Feb. 10, Naveed Shahnawaz, 19, was shot during a fight in a parking lot on the CNE grounds. He died in a Toronto hospital early Friday morning.
In mid-January, 15-year-old Tyson Bailey was killed in a shooting at an apartment block on Whiteside Place, near River and Dundas streets.
On Jan. 23, nine-year-old Kesean Williams, a Grade 4 student, was killed when a gunman targeted the Brampton townhouse where his family lived.
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