Man shot and killed at building near Sherbourne and Dundas streets
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Monday, June 25, 2018 5:18AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 25, 2018 3:51PM EDT
One man is dead following a shooting inside an apartment building on Sherbourne Street, in the city’s downtown core, early this morning.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Det. Rob Choe said officers were called to the area of Dundas Street East and Sherbourne Street at around 2:30 a.m. for a reported shooting.
When police arrived on scene, Choe said, the lifeless body of a man with “trauma” was found in a third-floor unit.
Despite attempts to resuscitate the victim, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Choe said investigators are still in the early stages of the investigation and police are not yet able to provide any information about possible suspects.
The man is believed to be in his late 30s or early 40s but the name of the victim has not been released.
Choe said there are several video cameras inside the building that could assist in the investigation.
“We are sifting through that right now, reviewing some footage and hopefully we will have something for you later this afternoon,” Choe said.
The detective added that the scene appears to be “contained to the unit” where the victim was found.
Choe could not say if the victim lived at the apartment building.
“That’s tough to say at this point without a positive ID,” he noted. “I think within the next couple of hours we should be able to confirm his ID.”
Choe also could not say if anyone was with the victim at the time of the shooting.
“That is something we are trying to ascertain,” he said.
“We are trying to speak to everybody, canvass for witnesses to determine and confirm who may have been at the address.”
Amy Phillips, a resident of the building who claims to have known the victim for decades, said the man lived in the west end but visited friends at the Sherbourne Street apartment complex from time to time.
She described the victim as a “family man” who had lost a son in a fatal collision one year ago.
“He tragically died a year to the date that his son did,” Phillips said.
She said she heard the shots ring out early Monday morning but wasn’t quite sure what the noise was.
“I heard two bangs and then a pause… and then I heard two more bangs,” she said.
“I thought maybe a garbage truck was close by or something so kind of brushed it off.”
The shooting comes on the heels of a deadly weekend in Toronto.
Three people were killed in two separate shootings on Sunday alone.
Police chief says numbers need context
Speaking to CP24 Monday, Police Chief Mark Saunders said that while the homicides are obviously a concern, it is important to place the numbers in the appropriate context.
So far this year, Toronto has seen 48 homicides, compared to 23 during the same period last year.
But Saunders said the three-year trend paints a different picture.
“If we go year-to-year sometimes it gets a little bit tricky but if we do a three-year trend, then homicides averaged about 36. And if we take out that mass casualty… we have two more homicides. I’m still concerned about that,” Saunders said.
“When we look at the shootings and we do the three-year trend again, we are looking at an average of about 184 over the past three years and right now we are at about 200, so we are 16 more, which works out to less than four per month.”
He noted that the homicide department will often experience “peaks and valleys” in their criminal investigations.
He said the homicide unit, which has been saddled with many labour-intensive investigations this past year, including the Bruce McArthur case, the Yonge Street van attack, and the murders of Barry and Honey Sherman, is well-equipped to deal with the work.
“The homicide squad has been taxed with the amount of work and the intensity of the types of investigation that they have had to deal with in such a short period of time but they are the best of the best,” he said. “They are so good at what they do and I’m so proud of the work that the homicide squad does.”
Addressing the recent spate of homicides in Toronto, Saunders said that while the average person should “be alert,” for the most part, the shootings in the city have a “street gang overtone.”
“The gunplay is for the most part people who have high-risk lifestyles,” Saunders said.
“If you don’t have a high-risk lifestyle you are in good shape relatively speaking.”
He said tackling the issue of gang violence in the city requires more than just enforcement.
“We can’t arrest our way out of this. If everybody just drops it in front of us and says, ‘Hey, here deal with it,’ we are not going to be successful,” Saunders said.
“So we have to get a multitude of agencies (involved). The city is working with us on strategies on what can we do proactively and now we need to work on the back end with the legal system as a whole to see what do we do once a person does pull a trigger in our city.”