Toronto police say a 21-year-old man has died after being shot in a parking lot outside an east-end LCBO following an argument inside the store. The LCBO employee’s union has confirmed the dispute was over social distancing.
Police were called just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday to the area of Victoria Park and Danforth avenues for multiple reports of a shooting.
When emergency crews arrived on scene, they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound. Paramedics said the man was transported to hospital in life-threatening condition. He died in hospital a short time later.
Police tape surrounded an LCBO parking lot in the area and evidence markers could be seen on the ground as officers conducted their investigation.
Investigators said a 21-year-old man was inside the store making a purchase at the same time as a 20-year-old man and woman.
A verbal argument then occurred between the two men, police said.
A source told Global News that the motive appeared to be a dispute over social distancing inside the LCBO which then spilled out onto the parking lot.
According to a statement released by OPSEU, the union that represents LCBO employees, “an altercation broke out between two customers waiting in line over physical distancing – one man didn’t feel the other was maintaining six feet of distance.”
The statement went on that an LCBO worker was able to de-escalate the altercation in the moment and the purchases were made.
However, homicide detectives would not confirm the source of the argument.
“The basis of the argument which took place within the LCBO is still under investigation and that’s not something I am going to comment on at this time,” Det. Amanda Thornton told reporters. She also said the victim and suspects were all wearing masks inside the store.
After making their purchases, police said all three people left the store.
Police said the 21-year-old man was seen running through the parking lot and gun shots were heard. He was then seen laying on the ground, police said.
Investigators said they found multiple shell casings as well as a knife at the scene. There was also initial reports that the victim was stabbed but Thornton confirmed no one was stabbed.
“How that knife plays into this is still under investigation,” Thornton said.
The 21-year-old victim has been identified by police as Jakub Sudomericky. Police had previously said the victim was 22 years old.
The suspects fled the scene but were arrested shortly after, police said.
Thornton told reporters that a 911 caller had given the suspects’ licence plate number to the operator.
“Responding officers located the vehicle within eight minutes of the shooting and less than two kilometres away from the scene,” Thornton said.
Three occupants inside that vehicle were arrested, Thornton added.
Michael Roberts, a 20-year-old resident of Toronto, was charged with first-degree murder.
Thornton said the suspect and the victim did not know each other.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 416-808-4100 or 416-808-2222.
This is Toronto’s 60th homicide of 2020.