Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Police Link Mass Shooting, Homicide and Six Other Shootings to Gang

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Police Link Mass Shooting, Homicide and Six Other Shootings to Gang

Article excerpt

Toronto police link mass shooting to gang


TORONTO - Turf wars and power struggles within one of Toronto's most notorious street gangs erupted in a spate of gun violence and killings over the past year, including a block party shootout this summer that left two people dead in the city's east end, police said Tuesday.

Investigators have linked three homicides and six shootings between Sept. 4, 2011 and Aug. 10, 2012 to the Galloway Boys gang, Det.-Sgt. Brett Nicol told a news conference.

The group's bloody battles with a rival gang nearly a decade ago culminated in a massive police sweep that saw several ringleaders imprisoned.

"It did hamper their criminal involvement in this end of Scarborough," Nicol said of the former eastern Toronto borough.

"But slowly, members got out," and came to mentor the new generation -- many of whom are now sought in this latest string of attacks, Nicol said.

"This recent violence is based on, as they refer to it on the street, a beef," which started about a year ago, he said.

Fourteen-year-old Shyanne Charles of Toronto and 23-year-old Joshua Yasay of Ajax, Ont., were killed when gunmen exchanged fire at a block party on July 16 that was attended by about 200 people.

Twenty-three others were sent to hospital with gunshot wounds after what police called the worst mass shooting in Toronto's history.

Det.-Sgt. Peter Trimble said "a small group of young punks, approximately five to six people... were involved in the shooting," which he said stemmed from a confrontation between the Galloway Boys and a group from the nearby Malvern neighbourhood.

The deadly rampage rocked the city and reignited the debate over how to tackle gun violence and help disadvantaged youth.

Simmering tensions between police and some at-risk communities -- such as the Danzig Street complex where the shooting took place -- also came to the surface.

Police have since made two arrests in the attack.

Nahom Tsegazab, 19, was charged with reckless discharge of a firearm. Police said Tuesday he belongs to the Galloway Boys.

Shaquan Mesquito, 18, from the Malvern area, faces charges of threatening to cause serious bodily harm before the shootout. …

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