A 44-year-old woman who sustained “life altering” injuries in an attack at her home in Mississauga in November was shot with a crossbow at close range by a suspect posing as a deliveryman, Peel police said Monday.
“There’s absolutely no question in our mind that the intent in this particular case was the victim was not to have survived this attack,” Det. Sgt. Jim Kettles told reporters at a news conference at peel police headquarters Monday.
Emergency crews responded to a home on Bayberry Drive, in the area of Winston Churchill Boulevard and Highway 401, at around 8 p.m. on November 7, 2018 after the victim called 911 herself.
On Monday, police released surveillance video of the moments before that call was made.
In the video, a man in a white hooded sweater and a baseball cap waits at the front door, holding a box.
“When the victim answered the door they had a brief conversation. Seconds later the suspect shot an arrow at the victim from a crossbow that was concealed inside the box he was carrying,” Superintendent Heather Ramore told reporters.
Police said the crossbow was never removed from the box during the attack.
The video released by police does not show the shot being fired, but jumps to the moment when the suspect runs away and the door is closed.
“The suspect is believed to have fled on foot to a dark-coloured pickup truck that was nearby,” Ramore said.
The victim, while critically injured, managed to close the door and call 911.
When paramedics arrived, they rushed her to a trauma centre, where she remained for several months.
Kettles said Monday that she will likely spend the rest of her life trying to recover.
“The injury she sustained was absolutely devastating. It involved damage to a lot of her internal organs,” Kettles said.
He added that her life “will never be the same.”
Investigators said Monday that the motive for the attack is still under investigation, but it’s possible that the suspect was targeted and that someone else was involved in the attack.
“Comments that were made to the victim by the suspect indicate that the victim was targeted and that the suspect may have carried out the attack at the request of another individual,” Ramore said.
Kettles said police have a number of possible motives but are continuing to explore all possibilities.
“There are potential motives that we have established. I can’t speak to those at this time,” Kettles said. “We’re open to anything at this point and we’re looking at all possible investigative avenues as to why this attack may have been carried out.”
While the victim saw the suspect’s face, she did not know him, Kettles said.
He said police are now appealing to the public to try and identify the suspect and urged people to examine the surveillance images closely.
“I would encourage people just to pay particular attention to all of these pieces in the photo. The face on its own, although that may not trigger anything, perhaps in conjunction with the cap that he’s wearing and the shoes he’s got on – that may mean something to somebody,” Kettles said.
Police said the suspect may possibly have been wearing some other sort of head covering underneath his cap.
At the news conference, police displayed crossbows that are believed to be similar to the one used in the attack and said the weapons are typically used for killing large game, such as moose or deer.
“There is no degree of licensing. Anybody over the age of 18 can purchase one of these weapons at any one of the sporting good store that happen to carry them,” Kettles said.
Investigators also released an image Monday of the vehicle they believe the suspect used to attend and then flee from the area.
“If you feel you can identify the person in this video or if you have any other information that may assist in this investigation, please call Peel Regional Police,” Ramore said.