Man found dead after daytime Scarborough shooting marks new Toronto homicide record

Man found dead after daytime Scarborough shooting marks new Toronto homicide record
Man killed in West Hill shooting as citys homicide tally reaches new record
A man has died following a shooting in Scarboroughs West Hill neighbourhood on Sunday, bumping the city to a record number of homicides this year.

Police were called to a building in the area of Kingston Road and Lawrence Avenue following reports of gunshots early Sunday afternoon.

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When officers arrived on scene, shell casing were found in the building and a man was found without vital signs.

“This homicide total is not something anyone, including me, can accept,” he said. “I am absolutely determined to see us do better next year and every future year. I know with the public’s help we can keep Toronto safe.”

Fatal weekend shooting is Torontos 90th murder of the year

Police confirmed Sunday night that the fatal shooting brings the citys official homicide tally to 90 for 2018, surpassing a previous record of 89 murders recorded in 1991.

Mayor John Tory released a statement Sunday night saying Toronto is working with the provincial and federal governments to reduce violent crime.

This homicide total is not something anyone, including me, can accept, Tory said. The people of Toronto know there is no magic answer, and we all pray that events like the Yonge Street van attack, which took ten lives earlier this year, will never happen again.

We are working well with the Ontario Government to give our police more support and toughen up bail practices, Tory said. And we are working well with the Government of Canada to toughen up our gun laws and to invest in kids and families.

This is Toronto’s 90th murder of the year, surpassing the number of homicides in 1991 and making 2018 the deadliest year on record.

A man was shot to death in Scarborough on Sunday afternoon, according to Toronto police, a slaying that marks the city's 90th homicide this year — breaking a record that has stood since 1991. 

Police were called to the building at Lawrence Avenue and Kingston Road just after 1:30 p.m. Sunday for reports of gunshots.

Paramedics said the victim was suffering from gunshot wounds. He was unconscious and not breathing, and was pronounced dead a short time later. 

Reports say one person was taken into custody at the building but it is unclear if they are connected to the incident.

Detective Paul Worden said investigators were continuing to canvass the building on Sunday night.

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The victim did not live in the building, Worden said, but added that the deceased had acquaintances in the building and was well known to its residents.  

"We do know from the little bit of surveillance video we've watched so far that he was with three or four other parties prior to his murder," he said. The victim was known to police. 

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"We do have a direction of travel of some people that were seen leaving the building shortly after the murder, and we would like to track their whereabouts," Worden added. 

Tory said the city is working well with the provincial and federal governments to provide more support to police and “toughen up bail practices” as well as strengthen gun laws and invest in kids and families.

A massive police presence surrounded the complex Sunday afternoon as officers canvassed units floor by floor. Members of the force's emergency task force — effectively a SWAT unit — were also called in in the initial aftermath of the shooting. 

They said the report was initially received as two separate calls, one for someone who had fallen and another for someone shot. The two calls, however, are now considered to have involved the same victim.

Sunday evening, police towed away a black minivan with no licence plates that was marked as evidence. 

“The people of Toronto know there is no magic answer, and we all pray that events like the Yonge Street van attack, which took 10 lives earlier this year, will never happen again,” he said.

Worden said that the vehicle did not belong to the victim and that police do not believe it was directly involved in the crime.

“I am absolutely determined to see us do better next year and every future year. I know with the public’s help, we can keep Toronto safe.”

The shooting is the 90th slaying in Toronto this year, the most homicides in any one year the city has faced. The previous record was 89 killings in 1991.

Speaking to reporters in the aftermath of another fatal shooting earlier this week, the acting inspector of the city's homicide unit said "there is definitely an uptick in the number of shootings" this year relative to other types of homicides. 

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Hank Idsinga said that while police are seizing more guns off the streets than ever before, "the shootings keep happening."

The victim, identified on Monday as 23-year-old Cardinal Licorish of Ajax, suffered from gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead on the scene.

He recalled that 1991 was marked by a bitter gangland feud that included several high-profile fatal shootings with multiple victims. Community outcry to the violence subsequently led to a considerable increase in public tips to police, which in turn helped keep homicide figures in Toronto in check for many years afterward.

Toronto’s previous record year for murders was in 1991 with 89 homicides, until it was tied again on Nov. 14 of this year.

"There was a reaction from the public. The public got involved and provided the tips that allowed us to successfully investigate those crimes and get the right people behind bars," Idsinga said. 

“But people do have the right to expect their governments will work together to reduce violent crime.”

In a statement issued later Sunday, Toronto Mayor John Tory said this year's homicide total is "not something anyone, including me, can accept."

"The people of Toronto know there is no magic answer … but people do have the right to expect their governments will work together to reduce violent crime," Tory said. 

"I am absolutely determined to see us do better next year and every future year. I know with the public's help we can keep Toronto safe."

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