Toronto man slain in 'targeted execution,' police say
Published Wednesday, February 27, 2013 5:38AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 27, 2013 4:16PM EST
A Toronto man who was gunned down on the weekend was shot by two gunmen in a “targeted execution,” a homicide detective said Wednesday as he appealed for tips to solve the killing.
Thuan “Tony” Nguyen was fatally shot in a parking lot behind a lounge on Signet Drive, near Weston Road and Steeles Avenue West, on Sunday at about 5:10 a.m.
Investigators are trying to identify the people who killed Nguyen and establish a motive for the slaying, which occurred after the 25-year-old man stepped outside a party at Vy Vy Restaurant and Lounge.
Based on forensic evidence at the scene and an autopsy, police have learned Nguyen was struck by gunshots from two firearms, said homicide squad Det. Tam Bui at a news conference.
“This was a targeted execution,” Bui told reporters.
Before he was killed, Nguyen was inside the lounge for a “promoted event” that was attended by about 100 people who are part of a “very tight-knit group of dancers and partygoers” in the Toronto area, Bui said.
Investigators are exploring whether Nguyen was shot by people who are not regulars in that party scene.
Police asked people who were at the event to think back and try to remember people who looked out of place in the bar that night.
“Many of them seem to know each other. It’s my belief that if there were some outsiders those individuals would stand out,” Bui said.
Police don’t believe the homicide had anything to do with the event, and they said the restaurant and lounge is not an after-hours booze can.
Police eye possible link to drug trade
Detectives are looking into whether the homicide is connected to Nguyen’s involvement in the drug trade.
Nguyen had an extensive criminal record for trafficking and possessing drugs, and he was facing outstanding charges of possession of cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana for the purpose of trafficking after a Nov. 12, 2012, arrest, Bui said.
Nguyen was out on bail and under house arrest at the time of his death, Bui said.
Meanwhile, a professional photographer snapped photos during the event, and detectives are poring over about 500 pictures to try to identify potential suspects and witnesses.
On Wednesday, police released a photo of Nguyen that was taken shortly before he died.
Officers also have photos of two dark-coloured sedans that were spotted leaving the shooting scene. Investigators are trying to identify the occupants of the cars to find out if they witnessed or were involved in the shooting.
Bui asked car rental agencies to call police if a newer model, dark-coloured sedan was returned by “Vietnamese people or Vietnamese-speaking people” Sunday or Monday.
Police also released footage of the vehicles in question Wednesday, asking anyone with information about the cars to get in touch with investigators.
Officers are also attempting to identify two white males who were seen with Nguyen shortly before he left the lounge, and they are asking partygoers to share their photos from the event.
There are limited descriptions of the suspects. One is described as an Asian male who is about five-foot-six and was wearing a dark jacket. Police have not released a description of the second suspect.
Police are asking anyone who was at the party or has information about the case to call investigators at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
Bui asked people to email their photos from the event to email@example.com.
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