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Crime

Mayor Tory ‘angry,’ calls on police to ‘root out the thugs’ responsible for Toronto’s rash of gun violence

WATCH: Friends and family members shared kind words, lit candles, and laid bouquets of flowers to remember 21 year old Jahvante Smart, who was gunned down Saturday. Kamil Karamali reports.

Toronto Mayor John Tory says he’s “incredibly angry” but “resolved to work with police” in response to the rash of gun violence that has swept the city over the past few weeks.

In a statement on Monday, the mayor said the safety of the city is his top priority and that he had spoken with Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders earlier in the morning about the gun violence which left two men dead and a woman injured after a shooting on Queen Street Saturday night and four others injured after a shooting in Kensington Market on Sunday night.

WATCH: Popular Toronto rapper ‘Smoke Dawg’ named as one of two people killed in shooting

Popular Toronto rapper ‘Smoke Dawg’ named as one of two people killed in shooting
Popular Toronto rapper ‘Smoke Dawg’ named as one of two people killed in shooting
“[Saunders] confirmed police are seized with this issue and working relentlessly to bring people to justice,” Tory’s statement read. “I made it clear that I expect police will do everything possible to root out the thugs responsible for this violence and send a message that we will not tolerate this reckless disregard for life in our city.”

READ MORE: 4 injured, 2 seriously, after shooting in Toronto’s Kensington Market

“I again assured the chief that the city will provide any resources he needs to help address this violence,” the statement continued.

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Tory reiterated the city is hiring 200 police officers by the end of 2018 as part of the modernization of the police service which will “ensure there are more officers patrolling the streets.”

“I understand there will be those in the coming days who think they have a magic wand to fix this situation. The answers are easy if we work together to deploy more police and support the police to actually get these thugs behind bars and keep them there.”

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The mayor said he would be reaching out to Ontario Premier Doug Ford as well as Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to discuss what can be done at both the provincial and federal levels of government to fight gang and gun crime.

READ MORE: Toronto rapper Smoke Dawg identified as 1 of 2 dead in downtown shooting

“I know they are both as committed as I am to putting these gangsters in jail,” he wrote.

Tory said bail conditions and guidelines need to be toughened up, something he said he brought up at city council in late June.

“Countless police officers – from constables to the chief himself – have told me how frustrated they are by the fact someone they arrest for a gun crime can be back out on the street on bail quickly and ready to cause more mayhem. That is not right and that is something we can stop right now.”

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READ MORE: 2 killed, 1 injured in downtown Toronto shooting

Ford tweeted Monday that he would be meeting with police officials to discuss Toronto’s recent rash of violence.

“My heart goes out to the victims of the shootings in Toronto over the Canada Day long weekend. This has been a very difficult summer in our city, and thoughts and prayers just aren’t going to cut it anymore. We need action,” one of the tweets read.

“Toronto is home to the greatest police officers. We need to make sure they have the resources to round up these criminals, build relationships in communities, and prevent these shootings.”

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Tory encouraged anyone with information in regard to the recent shootings to contact police or Crime Stoppers.