Toronto police are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the fatal shooting deaths of two men at an illegal after-hours club near the city’s Kensington Market in 2016.
Justin Bokma, 42, and Lafrance Matthews, 41, were both killed after shots rang out on July 1 around 5 a.m. inside a second-floor unlicensed club located at College and Augusta streets.
Police said Bokma, who was employed as the club’s doorman, was pronounced dead at the scene. Matthews, who also worked at the club, was rushed to hospital and later succumbed to his injuries.
Two other men suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting and took themselves to hospital.
Homicide Det. Steve Henkel told reporters at a press conference Wednesday morning that there were between 40 to 50 people inside the establishment at the time of the shooting.
“We have had little participation from those patrons,” said Henkel. “Maybe about 10 people may have come forward and assisted in some way.”
Police said a group of five to six males showed up at the club that night and were known to frequent other clubs in the Toronto area.
“We also believe that these males had been at this club previously and this was not their first time,” Henkel said.
“We also believe that these individuals were there to ply their trade, which was selling of illicit narcotics.”
Henkel said these men were also known to some of the patrons, as well as the ownership of the club, who authorities said they are seeking to identify and speak with.
“Somebody out there knows who these individuals are,” he said.
Police said they are seeking to identify three male suspects. The first is described as black, mid to late 20s, 5’9″ tall, with a skinny build and hair in braids to his shoulder.
The second suspect is described as black, with a dark complexion, in his 30s, around 5’6″ tall, short with a skinny build, and crooked teeth. His right arm and hand are smaller and skinnier. He has a nickname of “Mo” or “Moe.”
The third suspect is described as black, medium complexion, in his early 20s to early 30s, 5’9″ tall, with a medium build and clean-shaven.
Friends and family said Bokma was a Canadian skateboarder who appeared on magazine covers and was touted as a pioneer in the sport.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS.
—With a file from Will Campbell
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