TORONTO, Ont. – A 15-year-old boy who died after being shot multiple times in the 13th-floor stairwell of a Regent Park highrise Friday afternoon may have been targeted, Toronto police said.
Police identified the victim as Tyson Bailey of Toronto.
“This kind of a murder — I would suggest — is not a random murder,” said Det.-Sgt. Justin VanderHeyden.
“Tyson was either lured here or came here for a reason.”
Police said Bailey did not live at the Whiteside Place highrise, near Dundas Street and River Street but did reside in the area.
Police and paramedics were called to 605 Whiteside Pl. shortly after 2 p.m.
Paramedics had difficulty reaching the teenager because the elevator stalled on the third floor, according to a CityNews report. They took 10 flights of stairs to reach the teenager, located with life-threatening gunshot wounds.
Bailey was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital where he died, police said.
The teenager is the city’s second homicide of 2013.
VanderHeyden said Bailey did not have a criminal record and was not involved in gangs.
“By all accounts, he was a fine, young man,” he said.
“We have absolutely nothing in our investigation that has led us to believe that Tyson is affiliated or associated with any kind of gang activity.”
Investigators are reviewing surveillance video of the area.
“We are extremely saddened to hear of this tragic loss of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victim, and with the Regent Park community,” said Toronto Community Housing in a statement.
“Today’s events remind us of the need to continue to work with the police, the city, local agencies and partners, and above all our residents to find solutions that will keep our communities safe.”
Two ‘persons of interest’ sought
VanderHeyden said investigators are searching for two “persons of interest.”
Investigators want to speak with two men — one white, one black — who were seen on the 13th floor around the time Bailey was shot and anyone who might know why Bailey was at the highrise.
“It’s still a mystery to me why he was on the 13th floor of this building at two o’clock this afternoon,” VanderHeyden said.
The men are described as between the ages of 25 and 30.
The white man is tall and skinny with acne scars.
The black man is short and was last seen wearing a thick, black jacket.
“They’re people who may have information, which may provide some insight into why Tyson was there or to who shot Tyson.”
VanderHeyden said there is no risk to the public.