‘October was a busy month,’ Toronto police give update on recent homicides, shootings in the city

Click to play video: 'Toronto has seen 17% decrease in shootings for 2021: Police services'
Toronto has seen 17% decrease in shootings for 2021: Police services
WATCH: Acting Deputy Chief of Specialized Operations Command in the Toronto Police Services Myron Demkiw said on Friday that the city has seen a 17 per cent decrease in shootings so far this year after the introduction of the Centralized Shooting Response Teams (CSRT). They attend and investigate all firearm-related incidents across the city and police believe they contributed to the decrease in shootings – Nov 5, 2021

Toronto police are appealing to the public for their assistance in solving several homicides that occurred the last month and provided an update Friday on where investigators stand on those cases.

“October was a busy month for the Toronto Police’s homicide squad,” Inspector Hank Idsinga told reporters at a press conference, alongside Police Chief James Ramer and Deputy Chief of Police Myron Demkiw.

The update comes as the city saw at least eight shootings over a single weekend alone in October, four of them were fatal. That same weekend saw two other incidents where shots were fired, but no one was injured by the gunfire.

Idsinga said in October, there were 11 homicides and seven of those police are aware of who the suspect(s) are or investigators have already laid charges.

Read more: Toronto police investigate 8 shootings over weekend, including 4 fatal

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For the city’s 64th homicide involving a 39-year-old man, a woman was charged with second-degree murder. For its 65th homicide, investigators have identified a suspect who is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for first-degree murder.

Police said suspects for the 66th, 68th, 70th and 72nd homicides, suspects are outstanding and police are still investigating, Idsinga said.

Two men were charged with first-degree murder in the 67th homicide. For the city’s 69th homicide, a 21-year-old man was charged with first-degree murder, Idsinga continued.

The 71st homicide involved a taxi driver who was shot and killed in Scarborough and police are looking for a 17-year-old who is wanted for first-degree murder on a Canada-wide warrant.

Read more: 17-year-old boy wanted in connection with fatal shooting of taxi driver in Toronto: police

Idsinga said the 73rd and 74th homicides, individuals were charged with second-degree murder.

“Despite these some of these incidents happening within days, even hours of each other, and within the same or neighbouring divisions, we do not have any evidence at this time to suggest they are connected in any way,” Idsigna said. “But of course we are always open to that possibility”

So far, there have been 74 homicides in Toronto since 2021 began with a 73 per cent clearance rate to date, Idsinga said.

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“And the year is not over, that rate will improve as we arrest more people involved in these cases,” Idsinga added.

Click to play video: 'Nearly 80% of firearms involved in Toronto gun violence come from the U.S.: Police'
Nearly 80% of firearms involved in Toronto gun violence come from the U.S.: Police

Toronto’s chief of police said the number of homicides have jumped since October but he hopes that trend will not continue.

“We’re doing as much work as we can, in each and every case, to solve them and that’s our priority,” Ramer said.

Ramer also said according to data about 80 per cent of guns that get in are coming from the United States.

“We live in a country with the largest undefended border with a significant gun culture in the United States and it’s a very difficult issue we need to address and quite frankly that’s the biggest problem we have in this city is the volume of guns that are coming across the border,” Ramer added.


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