TORONTO, Ont. – A notorious Toronto street gang has left dozens injured and three dead in a wave of shootings in the city’s east-end, including the mass shooting on Danzig Street that killed two young people, Toronto police said on Tuesday.
Homicide Det.-Sgt. Peter Trimble said gunfire erupted at the housing complex on Danzig Street on July 16 when members of the Galloway Boys street gang claimed the community barbecue as their own. Young people from Malvern showed up and were asked to leave. They returned later and set off a gun battle.
Trimble said at least five gunmen opened fire at the housing complex near Morningside and Lawrence avenues.
The gunfire killed innocent bystanders Shyanne Charles, 14, and Joshua Yasay, 23, and wounded 23 people, including a toddler.
He said witnesses should not allow fear to dictate whether they come forward.
“I’m talking about a small group of people here,” Trimble said. “It just takes courage to take that step and stand up.”
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said police are making progress in the investigations, adding that precautions have been taken to combat retalitory attacks.
“We recognize that there is a potential for retaliation,” he told CityNews Channel. “We took the steps necessary to prevent it.”
Still, residents fear retaliation.
“There is fear of retaliation, having six guys come and knock on your door, saying ‘you said something,’” one man told 680News.
Det.-Sgt. Brett Nicol said police need witnesses to come forward.
“These shooters are small, weak and cowardly, and the fact is that because of their propensity for violence and their willingness to shoot guns, they’ve got the community holding back. We’re hoping that the community is going to come forward today,” he said.
DNA testing will be conducted on shell casings and six firearms.
Police have linked the Galloway Boys street gang to at least six shootings and three homicides that span from September 2011 to August 2012, including the murder of D’Mitre Barnaby, 24, on Dec. 30, 2011, at a highrise on 3895 Lawrence Ave. E., between Kingston Road and Scarborough Golf Club Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police have released surveillance video of the events leading up to, and after the shooting. Watch it below:
Police said the killing was a case of mistaken identity by men vying for leadership of the Galloway Boys. Barnaby had no known gang affiliation.
After the shooting, two suspects ran westbound through the parking lot of 3847 Lawrence Ave. E., into the yard of a daycare and then hopped over a fence.
Police have tied six shootings between Sept. 4, 2011 and Aug. 10, 2012 to the three east-end homicides:
- Shooting and attempted murder of several males in front of a Domino’s Pizza at Lawrence Ave. E. and Susan St. on Sept. 4, 2011. Three males were wounded from gunshots.
- Shooting and attempted murder of a male on Nov. 4, 2011, on Northfield Drive. The victim was allegedly gunned down in his vehicle during a drug deal. Ramon Williams, associated with the Galloway Boys, was arrested on Sept. 10, 2012, and charged with attempted murder.
- Drive-by shooting that occurred on Dec. 28, 2011 at 4315 Kingston Rd., which is the known turf of the Galloway Boys. Based on a witness, three unknown males were shot at.
- Several shots fired in the second-floor hallway of 3827 Lawrence Ave. E., on January 15, 2012. Blood was located at the scene, but no victim has been identified.
- Several shots were fired on Aug. 6, 2012, in the area of 4100 Lawrence Ave. E. Several suspects were seen fleeing the area, and no victims were identified.
- Male victim was chased through the Lawrence LRT on Aug. 10, 2012 and gunned down against a fence. The victim was identified as being one of the up-and-coming leaders of the Galloway Boys.