August 26, 2016 8:36 am
Updated: August 26, 2016 7:38 pm

Man, 35, charged with first-degree murder after deadly crossbow attack in Toronto

WATCH ABOVE: A 35-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of three people after a crossbow attack that shocked a Toronto neighbourhood. Christina Stevens reports from the scene.


Toronto police have charged a 35-year-old man with three counts of first-degree murder after three people were found dead from a suspected crossbow attack in east-end Toronto Thursday afternoon.

A neighbour across the street from where the incident took place said a man banged on his door telling him to call 911 prior to first responders arriving at the scene.

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“I open the door and this gentleman almost fell on me. So I sort of carried him half into the living room and he fell down on the floor,” said the neighbour, who did not want to be identified.

READ MORE: Fatal crossbow incident in east-end Toronto linked to suspicious package downtown: police

“He said, ‘Call 911. My brother is bleeding in the driveway. Make sure the police come.’ So I phoned 911, they put me through to the ambulance and I told them what was going on.”

The neighbour said he then walked outside and found a man bleeding on a driveway across the street.

“I took a look at the gentleman in the driveway. Boy, he was covered in blood,” he said.

“So I came back and said to my wife, ‘Give me a towel, I’ll take it over.’ So she gave me a towel and I figured if I saw blood spurting out maybe I’ll be able to stop the bleeding. But there was too much blood, I couldn’t see.”

WATCH: Neighbour of victim in Toronto crossbow attack recalls horrific details

Toronto police said they received a call for a stabbing just before 1 p.m. Thursday at a home near Lawndale Road and Argo Road, in the Eglinton Avenue East and Markham Road area.

Toronto Paramedic Services confirmed to Global News they treated two adult males and an adult female with serious injuries at the scene and they were later pronounced dead.

Police said a crossbow was recovered and a 35-year-old man, identified as Brett Ryan, was arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

READ MORE: Deadly crossbows easy to obtain, unregulated

“Anytime there’s loss of life in this city it does cause some concern, but I feel confident knowing that we have some of the best investigators in the country that will do a very thorough investigation,” Chief Mark Saunders told reporters Friday.

“The information I have is that there is no need for any member of the public to be concerned about their safety because all involved have been apprehended.”

Saunders added the possibility of further regulations on crossbows was a “discussion that needs to be held by members of government” if deemed necessary and said police would enforce any laws involving the use of weapons.

WATCH: Toronto police chief comments on crossbow deaths

Police confirm the accused had previously been charged with numerous offences related to robberies in the Greater Toronto Area. He was dubbed the “Fake Beard Bandit” after a disguise he wore.

Court documents reveal Ryan was charged in 2008 and convicted in 2009 with robbery and disguise with intent.

The neighbour said the man who banged on his door was one of the four sons of a woman who lived across the street.

WATCH: Residents concerned after suspected crossbow deaths

“He had a little bit of blood on the side of his head. Maybe he touched the body and wiped his face with his hand,” he said. “I know the mother but I don’t know any of the sons.”

The neighbour said his wife knew the woman and that they were supposed to go to the Canadian National Exhibition together on Wednesday but it was postponed because she was sick.

“Nice neighbour. My wife used to go shopping with her quite often,” he said. “She would come visit from time to time.”

Homicide investigators say the triple murder is also connected to a suspicious package investigation at a downtown Toronto condominium but have released few details.

Det.-Sgt. Mike Carbone said the building was evacuated after a package was found on an unspecified floor just after 2 p.m..

The bomb squad was called to investigate and deemed the area safe at 5 p.m.

WATCH: Suspect in crossbow triple homicide makes first court appearance

“There is a link to that other crime scene at Queens Quay my understanding to date is that it’s been cleared at this point,” Carbone told reporters on Thursday.

“We will follow up with the officers at 14 Division and if that information becomes relevant and there’s a reason for us to release that information to the media we will make it available.”

Police have yet to release the identities of the people killed in the incident.

With files from The Canadian Press


© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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