Toronto police are once again seeking the public’s help identifying a suspect involved in the shooting of a TTC fare collector that took place five years ago.
The robbery attempt and subsequent shooting happened at Dupont subway station on Feb. 26, 2012.
Police said the suspect approached the fare collector at 7:22 p.m., demanded cash, and after a brief conversation fired three shots at the booth before fleeing the scene.
“There was no provocation. This is some type of animal act committed by some coward for no good reason,” Hold Up Staff Insp. Mike Earl told reporters during a press conference Monday morning.
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Investigators said two of the shots hit the fare collector in the neck and shoulder. Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) spokesperson Brad Ross said the employee survived the attack but has not returned to work since.
“They are on long-term disability and further medical procedures are still continuing,” Ross said. “It’s very devastating as you can imagine being shot, hit in the neck and almost dying.”
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Police said the suspect targeted the collector booth twice prior to the shooting; the first on Jan. 11, 2011 at 9:20 p.m. and the second on Oct. 2. 2011 at 7:55 p.m.
“The suspect targeted this location three times, four months apart, and on weekends and at night. Then all of a sudden disappears,” Earl said.
“Did the person have some type of flashback and thinking maybe they screwed up and having some inner self problems? I don’t know. I’d love to ask this individual when we arrest them.”
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After five years of numerous tips and dead ends, police said they are hoping someone who might have had contact with the suspect is now comfortable coming forward.
“Maybe they had a relationship that was too tight and they didn’t want to come forward,” Earl said. “Now time has passed, maybe now is the time to come forward. Maybe this is the nudge they need.”
The TTC said the incident prompted the transit agency to rethink employee safety at fare booths with the installation of stronger bullet resistant glass, and the inclusion of credit and debit machines to reduce cash at each subway station.
“In about a year from now, there will be no more collector booths. There will be no more cash in the system other than through the vending machines,” Ross said.
“Our collectors, our employees will no longer handle fare and no longer handle any money. That will obviously eliminate almost entirely these types of situations.”
WATCH: TTC offering $25K reward to help identify Dupont subway shooter
Police said the suspect is described as white male or female, 35 to 50 years of age, between 5’2″ to 5’5″ tall, with a heavy build and no accent, wearing a dark jacket with a hood and dark pants.
The TTC have offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect involved in the shooting.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Hold-Up Squad at 416-808-7350 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
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