Muzik shooting victim's mother questions club's security
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Thursday, August 13, 2015 9:04AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 13, 2015 3:06PM EDT
The mother of a man shot dead in Muzik nightclub over the August long weekend says the family has hired a lawyer to help them get answers about how the deadly events transpired.
“How could (security) be tight enough,” Auline Lewis, mother of murder victim 23-year-old Brampton resident Duvel Hibbert told CP24 Thursday. “Someone was able to get inside with a gun. How tight could that be?”
Personal Injury Lawyer Michael Smitiuch is now representing the family. According to a statement sent out to news outlets Thursday morning, his focus will be getting details from the police and the provincial coroner’s office about the circumstances surrounding Hibbert’s death.
A report in the Toronto Sun Thursday morning said the nightclub was not outfitted with security cameras inside. Toronto police would not say whether there were any working security cameras inside Muzik nightclub when the shooting occurred.
Jeff Chatterton, a spokesperson for Muzik Event Centre, said in an email that the venue does in fact have working security cameras. The club reportedly had 73 security guards and 10 paid duty Toronto Police officers present throughout that evening. Toronto Police have since ended all paid duty at the venue, and Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said Tuesday that there were notable “gaps” in the security at the nightclub.
"Musik has cameras, and they were operating,” Chatterton told CP24 Thursday afternoon. “We are fully cooperating with police investigations. It is up to the police to determine what footage from those cameras is useful to them, and what, if anything, will be made public."
But Hibbert’s mother said she’s not satisfied.
“Just because they have a certain number of security officers there, doesn’t mean it’s sufficient,” Smitiuch told CP24 Thursday afternoon. “What we do know is that there have been prior serious incidents here and what we do know is that it happened again.”
On Aug. 5 2014, just one year and a day before this year’s deadly shooting, a man in his 30s was shot in the torso outside Muzik. He survived his injuries. On Feb. 15, 2013, a 19-year-old man was shot dead in a parking lot next to the venue.
Lewis said her son had plans to move to Windsor with his girlfriend, who studies at the University of Windsor, and complete studies of his own.
The shootings happened in the early morning hours of Aug. 4, The nightclub had just finished hosting the official after party for Toronto rapper Drake’s OVO Fest when gunshots rang out in the club’s outdoor pool area where Hibbert was found dead. A short time after Hibbert was killed, 26-year-old Ariela Navarro-Fenoy of Toronto was shot dead near the Dufferin Gates north of the nightclub. Two men were wounded seriously and a woman suffered minor injuries during the incident.
Police have said they believe the women were bystanders that were hit by stray bullets.
Navarro-Fenoy was buried on Monday. Hibbert’s funeral will be held Aug. 29.
Lewis said her son was a huge fan of Drake’s.
“He idolized Drake,” “He likes his music, so I guess the idea of seeing him in concert was what brought him there.”
She said she was disappointed Drake has not yet reached out to her and expressed his condolences.
“That won’t be able to give us back or son or give back the other family their daughter but reaching out to the families would have been the most decent thing to do.”
Tory made an appeal to anyone present at Muzik nightclub during the shootings to speak to investigators and turn in any photos or videos they may have taken during the shootings.