Police are searching for evidence in a Hamilton, Ont. park after back-to-back shootings at a bus stop last weekend left a 16-year-old boy with life-altering injuries and a father of four dead.

On Friday, the Toronto Police Service confirmed its Emergency Management and Public Order units are canvassing Valley Park in the Stoney Creek area as part of its investigation into the shootings, which took place less than 24 hours apart, on Friday and Saturday, at Jane Street and Driftwood Avenue, just north of Finch Avenue.

In both cases, the victims were waiting outside of a bus stop in the area when an unknown suspect approached and fired shots at them. While police have not linked anything about the shootings to organized crime of any sort, Det. Phillip Campbell said the incidents are believed to be connected and that they have the "hallmarks of gang activity."

On Tuesday, police identified the victim killed as 39-year-old Adu Boakye, a father of four from Ghana who'd only recently moved to Canada.

adu boakye

Of the investigation's expansion into Hamilton, police said they cannot comment on "what exactly" they're searching for. “We will provide an update at a later time," a spokesperson for the service said.

Police previously said a suspected stolen vehicle used by the suspect, or suspects, in both incidents was found abandoned in Hamilton.

At this point, no arrests have been made. However, on Tuesday, police released surveillance images of a suspect in an effort to identify him. He’s described by police as a Black male, between the ages of 18 and 25, with a thin build.

He was last seen wearing a black coat, white hoodie, black pants, black shoes, a black face covering, and possibly a white surgical mask.


More police not the answer: community organizers

Community advocacy group Jane and Finch Action Against Poverty shared a statement Friday addressing the increased police presence in the area following the “unfathomable” loss.

While the group says it understands the need for emergency response, it expressed concern that police are “using recent and tragic incidents” to justify a greater presence.

“We’ve already had a huge police presence,” the statement reads. “Our experience has shown that the solution to shootings is not to add more cops on our streets; they've done this for decades in Jane-Finch.”

“It has not worked and will never work,” it concluded. “What they're doing only creates a false image temporarily and justifies more budget for police in the long run, instead of seriously, and in a sustainable manner, addressing the socio-economic, political and structural causes."

The group is calling for more investments in community and social programs in the area.

When reached for comment, the Toronto Police Service said it would maintain a presence in the area for the foreseeable future.


A post shared by JFAAP (@jfaap)

With files from Phil Tsekouras and Joanna Lavoie.