TORONTO — The head of the city’s homicide squad says police believe the brazen shooting of two men outside a busy Chinatown restaurant last weekend was a targeted slaying, but not tied to any gang activity.
Staff Insp. Greg McLane said Tuesday that despite a spike of 10 homicides in January, only three were potentially gang-related — this a day after Mayor John Tory said most of the January bloodshed was “retaliatory” gang violence.
In the Chinatown slayings, McLane said investigators think the shooter intended to kill 26-year-old David Eminess and 29-year-old Quinn Taylor, who he said weren’t involved with street gangs.
The pair were killed and three others — including one person McLane said was with Eminess and Taylor and may also have been in the shooter’s sights — when shots rang out outside the main window of the busy New Ho King Restaurant at Spadina Avenue and Nassau Street around 3 a.m. Sunday.
Two other people were “a distance away” and hit with stray bullets, he said.
McLane is appealing to the public for information on what happened before the killings, saying it’s key to know what Eminess and Taylor were doing — and whether they got into an altercation with the shooter.
“Something has led to this and obviously the shooter jumped from zero to 1,000… and killed these two young men,” he said.
“They’re three guys, out for the evening — something’s happened and we just don’t fully understand that.”
McLane said police have spoken with some witnesses, who were cooperative, but are looking for any more information from bystanders, as well as any cell phone footage.
There are on average around 4.75 homicides each January, and while the 10 last month — eight were shootings — are “concerning” there’s no reason to believe they’re connected, McLane said.
The top homicide cop added that while three could be directly connected with gang crime, others may possibly involve gang members getting into individual disputes.