On the face of it, this news story from Ontario doesn’t give any clue as to the ethnicity of the perpetrators. So I made a few discreet enquiries among my contacts in the Frozen North, and here’s what taffyincanada, who lives in the area, said about the neighborhood in which the incident occurred:
It’s just south of the infamous Jane and Finch. Great place to go if you want crack, heroin, a gun, an STD, or just looking to get shot. Heavy Jamaican and immigrant area.
So I think we can safely assign this article to the “Cultural Enrichment” category. According to The National Post:
‘Brazen’ Teen Allegedly Fires Across Traffic Lanes
Shortly before 7 p.m. on Tuesday night, as the evening rush hour dwindled on Sheppard Avenue West, a 15-year-old boy got into a shouting match with a trio of young men across the street.
According to police, the boy made hand gestures at the trio, whom he blamed for a previous conflict, then pulled out a gun and fired six or seven shots across four busy lanes of traffic.
Only one bullet hit its mark — a 18-year-old man was hit on the leg — but even in a city growing accustomed to random gunfire, police were shaken yesterday discussing what could have been.
“He was brazen enough to pull out a loaded firearm and fire across four lanes of traffic. I wouldn’t suspect he thought too much about where the traffic was when he decided to let off some rounds at his intended target,” Division 31 police Superintendent Chris White said on Thursday. “We are lucky we are investigating an attempted murder instead of a murder or an innocent bystander being struck in this incident.”
The boy, who cannot be named, has been charged with attempted murder; two older teenagers have also been charged.
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“It’s a scary proposition. I guess you always worry about where the other six bullets could have gone to,” Supt. White said on Thursday.
Following the arrest, police executed a search warrant on a nearby home on Brady Crescent and discovered a .38 Special revolver, a .380 semi-automatic handgun, ammunition and a large quantity of marijuana. The 15-year-old and two older teenagers all face gun-related charges.
The shooting came near the corner of Jane Street, in a troubled residential neighbourhood that has experienced its share of gang-related violence. In 2005, an 18-year-old resident was shot dead outside a housing complex at the same corner. A 15-year-old charged in the shooting was later acquitted.
City Councillor Maria Augimeri, who represents the area, said “the communities around Jane and Sheppard are very challenged,” and cited the area’s social and economic woes for the prevalence of gang culture.
“This incident is emblematic of the larger harrowing experience of people living in impoverished communities,” she said. “Any time you put thousands and thousands and thousands of people together with high needs, you get a certain amount of social challenges, and … inevitably gang culture and a certain amount of civil violence.”
Ms. Augimeri said solving the problem entirely is an expensive proposition that includes razing the public housing complex and building a new, open model. She said the neighbourhood is currently focused on street-level solutions.
Supt. White, however, said members of the public quickly alerted officers, suggesting a changing mindset, through community-based policing such as the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy.
“We get down and work alongside with some of the good residents of the neighbourhood to make sure this is isolated,” he said.
The 15-year-old boy has been charged with three counts of attempted murder while using a firearm, aggravated assault, discharging a firearm and endangering a life, the careless use of a firearm, using a firearm to commit an indictable offence, pointing a firearm, failing to comply with the Youth Criminal Justice Act and failing to comply with recognizance.
The 15-year-old, Alphonso Zuriel, 19, and Dwayne Powell, 18, were also charged with careless storage of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, two counts of possession of a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized, careless storage of a firearm, possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition and careless use of ammunition.
Mr. Zuriel also faces two counts of possessing a firearm contrary to a prohibition order and possessing ammunition contrary to prohibition.
For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.
Hat tip: Tuan Jim.