shooting shootings toronto

Eleven people were shot in Toronto this weekend

Gun violence remains top of mind for the people of Toronto this week after yet another particularly violent weekend in the city.

Two men were killed and one woman was seriously injured in what police called a "brazen" triple shooting near Queen Street West and Peter Street on Saturday afternoon. Both victims had ties to the local music scene and one of them, 21-year-old Jahvante Smart, toured Europe with Drake last summer.

Four more people were wounded during a shooting in Kensington Market on Sunday evening and, early Tuesday morning, another man was shot in the Entertainment District.

According to a TPS release issued today, a 21-year-old woman grabbed a shotgun from the trunk of her car and started firing at a pedestrian over the weekend. 

Fortunately, she missed.

Both Toronto Mayor John Tory and Police Chief Mark Saunders weighed in on the recent uptick in shootings — which have resulted in 22 deaths this year so far — Tuesday morning.

Both agree that the problem is serious, but say that citizens should still feel safe outdoors — despite the fact that eleven people were shot this weekend alone.

"The vast majority of the gun play in the city can be associated somehow with a street gang," said Saunders on CP24 earlier today.

"This is pointed to specific people. A random person walking down the street, it is highly unlikely that they are going to be in harm's way."

Tory said similarly on a CFRB radio program Tuesday morning that the shootings can be attributed "a very complicated network of gangs in the city."

The mayor said that statistics show at least 75 per cent of shootings in Toronto this year are gang-related. Saunders, on the other hand, put that number as high as 90 per cent.

The number of shootings in downtown Toronto (as in those that took place in the police divisions 14, 51 and 52) has risen by 100 per cent over the same time frame last year, as CP24 pointed out. The number of shooting victims has in turn risen by 133 per cent.

"The unacceptable gun violence we've seen in the last few weeks has left me incredibly angry but resolved to work with the police to stamp it out," said Tory in a statement on Monday.

"That's why we're hiring 200 police officers this year, why I've always advocated for tougher gun control and tougher bail conditions for gun crime, and why we're modernizing the police service to ensure there are more officers patrolling the streets.

"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," continued the statement.

"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."

Lead photo by

Andrew Badgley


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