A year after a gang-related shooting outside of a restaurant in Chinatown left two people dead and three others wounded, police have charged a second suspect previously identified as the leader of a violent Toronto gang.
Toronto police responded to a report of a shooting around 3:15 a.m. near Spadina Avenue and Nassau Street on Jan. 31, 2016, near the busy New Ho King Restaurant. Investigators said there had been a fight between a group of men before gunfire rang out.
David Eminess, 26, and Quinn Taylor, 29, were shot and killed in front of the restaurant and two other people nearby were struck by stray bullets after police said the gunman opened fire at the group.
Police said in February 2016 they believed the shooter intended to kill Eminess and Taylor, but said the victims weren’t involved in gang activity.
Eminess was pronounced dead at the scene while Taylor and three others were taken to hospital. He died from his injuries hours later.
Kyle Sparks-McKinnon, 26, of Toronto, was arrested Feb. 11, 2016 and charged with two counts of second-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder in connection with the shooting.
VIDEO: Arrest made in Chinatown double homicide (Feb. 12, 2016)
Police released CCTV images of several persons of interest from the time of the shooting that they later said directly led to Sparks-McKinnon’s arrest.
On Tuesday, police announced they had arrested a second suspect, 33-year-old Jahmal Richardson of Oakville, Ont. He has also been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder and is scheduled to appear in a Toronto court on March 2.
Both Sparks-McKinnon and Richardson are half-brothers and were also charged in the Halloween 2015 shooting of Charles Shillingford in downtown Toronto.
Police said Shillingford was shot in the chest while driving in the area of Yonge Street and Charles Street just after 2 a.m. on Oct. 31, before crashing his vehicle into a building near Yonge and College Street. He was taken to hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Homicide detectives said in May 2016 they had executed several search warrants and arrest warrants in relation to the shooting of Shillingford.
Richardson and Sparks-McKinnon as well as Mitchell Mannette, 20, of Halifax and Denzell Tyresse Walter Desmond, 19, of Halifax were arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting and appeared in court on May 19, 2016.
VIDEO: ‘Project Sizzle’ raids targeted gang originating in Nova Scotia
A month later, police announced they had “eradicated” the violent “Heart of a King” gang following a Canada-wide investigation that led to the arrests of 53 people facing a total of 285 charges.
Police said the multi-jurisdictional police operation, nicknamed Project Sizzle, began in January 2016 and culminated in predawn raids at multiple locations in the Greater Toronto Area in June 2016 — totalling 43 search warrants.
In addition to the arrests of the suspects, four of whom were apprehended in Montreal, several items were also seized including 11 vehicles, 17 firearms, an undisclosed amount of drugs, body armour, jewelry and $45,000 in cash.
Investigators said the Heart of a King gang, also known as H.O.K., originated from a well-known gang in Nova Scotia called “North Preston’s Finest” in 2010 and centred its criminal activity on adult entertainment establishments and local bars in downtown Toronto.
Toronto Police Insp. Bryan Bott said in June that Richardson, also known as Bam or Bambino, was the leader of the gang and Sparks-McKinnon was also a member.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
With files from David Shum