July 9, 2014 6:45 pm
Updated: July 9, 2014 6:48 pm

No apparent motive in fatal shooting of beloved teacher: police


Watch above: A 31-year-old supply teacher, beloved by students and staff at Lawrence Heights middle school, was shot and killed in the city’s west end early Tuesday morning. Catherine McDonald reports

TORONTO – There was “absolutely no motive” for the brazen shooting that left a substitute teacher dead and two others in hospital, police said Wednesday.

Detective Sgt. Steve Ryan said three innocent people were shot and he is certain none of them were targeted.

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“I can say with 100 per cent confidence that none of these people were targeted,” he said. “There is zero motive for this shooting.”

Abshir Hassan, 31, had left a party in Lawrence Heights Monday night to move his car when he was shot multiple times. Police said Hassan was only outside because he didn’t want to get a ticket.

Two other party-goers, a 22-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman, were also outside when the shooting started.

Ryan didn’t suggest a reason why the shooting happened, saying it may have been random or a case of mistaken identity.

Hassan was a substitute teacher with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and was praised by the principal of Lawrence Heights Middle School Tuesday as a teacher who was “beloved by the students.”

“I was so impressed with him and I just really wanted to see him realize his dream of becoming a teacher in the TDSB,” David daBelle said Tuesday. “He was beloved by the students. He always had time for them, would spend extra hours in the gym running pickup basketball games, taking his lunch hour to do that.”

Police continue to investigate.

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