Video shows moments leading up to Sheridan Mall murder
Chris Fox and Rachael D'Amore, CP24.com
Published Friday, September 1, 2017 7:39AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 1, 2017 5:54PM EDT
Video obtained of a deadly shooting at a North York mall show the victim running for his life with a gun-wielding suspect following closely behind.
The video, taken from a security camera inside one of the stores inside North York Sheridan Mall, shows 22-year-old Jovane Clarke running through the hallways before falling to the ground.
It also shows a suspect running away from the scene after the shooting took place.
Police have said Clarke was ambushed after he parked in a south lot at the mall around 5 p.m. on Thursday. He was immediately approached by four suspects.
At least two of those suspects opened fire on Clarke, causing him to run into the mall. At that point, police say one of the suspects followed Clarke into the mall and shot him multiple times.
Clarke was pronounced dead on scene.
Police said both the parking lot and the mall were “filled with shoppers and pedestrians” at the time of the shooting.
“We are very fortunate that no else is dead,” Det. Sgt. Mike Carbone told reporters on Friday morning. “We talked about it amongst our team. We consider ourselves lucky.”
Though a motive for the shooting is not immediately clear, Carbone told reporters that he has “no doubt” that Clarke was targeted.
He said that police are currently reviewing “a great deal of surveillance footage” and hope to be able to release video of the suspects in the coming days.
In the meantime, he said that officers are appealing to anyone who was in the area who may have witnessed the shooting or captured part of it on a cell phone or dashboard camera to come forward.
“This particular case is concerning. It is very violent,” Carbone said.
Six vehicles with bullet holes
Carbone would not confirm how many shell casings were located in the mall and in its parking lot but reports from the scene suggested at least 25 shots were fired.
On Friday morning, bullet holes were also visible on at least six parked vehicles as well as windows belonging to both a Tim Hortons and Dollarama.
All told, there were about 100 cars that could not be taken from the scene due to the investigation on Thursday but Carbone said on Friday morning that the owners of those vehicles will now be allowed to claim them.
He said that the mall also opened as scheduled on Friday following the completion of an investigation by forensics officers inside.
Police, however, remain on scene and will be canvassing the mall and the surrounding neighbourhood for information throughout the day.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Carbone said.
CP24 Crime Specialist Steve Ryan said police were quick to cordone off a large area around the shooting location as a crime scene to help them get a clearer picture of what happened.
"The crime scene itself is a voice, it speaks to the investigation and to what happened. The more interior we allow to that crime scene, the louder the voice," he said, adding that licence plates of cars in the parking lot will lead investigators to potential witnesses.
Ryan reiterated the need for witness accounts, saying no tip is too small.
"Witnesses sometimes assume police have the information they possess," he said. "No phone call to the police is a bad phone call. It's the job of the police to sift through the information. You just make the call."
‘Gun,gun! Get under the table!’
Some shoppers had barricaded themselves inside the mall’s library for hours, waiting on confirmation that it was safe to come out.
Ramiro Villafuerte talked to CP24 Friday about what he witnessed.
He said it was a “typical day” for him and his two young daughters were at the library inside Sheridan Mall until he heard the sound of gunshots.
“The next thing you know, I see a lot of people running around. I hear two gunshots. We run back inside and everybody just started screaming – all the kids that were inside the library, all the parents inside,” Villafuerte told CP24.
“We all just hid under the table right away and then we heard another three more gunshots.”
Villafuerte said the eight adults and seven children secured themselves in the library for close to two hours. Without much information to go on, Villafuerte said he decided to reach out on Twitter to see if anyone knew what was going on.
“They always say you have to stay calm and all that, but I was terrified. I was shocked,” he said. “Something I never thought I’d have to tell my kids is, ‘Gun, gun, get under the table!’ You see it on the news all the time but you never think it’s going to happen in your own backyard.”
He said the group was eventually ushered out safely by a mall security guard and were shocked to see forensic vehicles and crime tape.
“My oldest had a nightmare last night. They were both shaking,” Villafuerte said. “You watch this on TV and you don’t think it’s real until your kids are there watching it and asking you, ‘What does that mean?”