Removing guns from the street only takes a phone call in Toronto
KJ Mullins-Toronto: While Toronto street crime is reducing more bullets are flying. Canada Day weekend saw police scrambling from one shooting call to the next. A toddler seating in a car was hit by one of those bullets this weekend. What is going on in the city and who is to blame for the increase of gunfire?
One mother in Toronto is mourning her son this week after a weekend of gunfire in Toronto and surrounding areas.
In the Mississauga neighbourhood of Malton Dennis Alexander’s live ended after being shot at a house party on Brandon Gate Drive. Despite interviews with friends of the 25-year-old the police have no suspects in the case.
A 2-year-old sitting in a car at a family BBQ in the Sheppard and Jane area was shot in the leg Saturday night. She suffered only minor injuries but who can say what kind of emotional damage has been left behind.
At Toro Road in the Finch Avenue West and Keele Street area a man was shot in the abdomen 1:20 a.m. Monday. He is recovering in hospital.
At Ashbridges Bridge crowds gathered to watch fireworks Canada Day. The loud pops of gunfire mixed in with the booms of the show when a 21-year-old was shot in the Winners Circle and Lake Shore Blvd. E. area. As thousands watched the fireworks the youth was rushed to hospital, a bullet in his chest. A large group of men were seen fleeing the area according to the police.
This weekend’s shootings follow a month of brazen attacks in Toronto. On June 2 Christopher Husbands allegedly took a gun out of his pocket at Eaton Centre’s Urban Eatery. By the time he had finished firing six were shot. One victim lay on the floor dead while until died 9 days later from his injuries.
On June 18 John Raposo was gunned down in Little Italy while sitting on the patio at Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe. Another man was injured during the incident that took place in broad daylight on the busy street with hundreds nearby watching a soccer match on bar TVs.
For some in Toronto walking down the street is becoming a risk that they fear. Former Toronto Crime Stopper Student of the Year Nicholas Maharaj understands that fear. He works nights and travels home late to one of the more dangerous areas of the city.
“Traveling at night is scary,” Maharaj said during an interview, “There are times I fear for my life when I am walking on the streets.”
Maharaj is quick to add that there’s a way to make Toronto’s streets safer and it’s as simple as a phone call. “The Toronto Crime Stoppers #CASH4GUNS program allows people to call in to Crime Stoppers and report guns on the streets before a crime happens. Those anonymous tips can save lives,” Maharaj said with passion. “We don’t want another summer of the gun. Guns are not the answer. If you call in the police will go and get those guns off the streets day or night. No one will even know that you’re the one that called. Tips that lead to removing a gun can come with a reward of up to $500 cash.”
Maharaj is like a lot of young people. He enjoys the club scene and is hopeful of a day when going to the clubs in Toronto will be safe for everyone. “By making those calls you are helping to create safer streets. We all want to have fun and go out and party. We also want to be safe when we do that.”
Much of the gun violence in Toronto is targeted but too often someone unrelated to a street beef is a victim, just like the toddler this weekend. Maharaj said that many of the shootings are because a person pissed off the wrong person either in the present or in the past.
Tomorrow morning Toronto Crime Stoppers will be launching the the Toronto Crime Stoppers APP which includes interactive features that enable GTA residents to alert police in real time about a crime or potential crime. This is the first APP of it’s kind in North America.
There are three ways to submit a tip to Toronto Crime Stoppers:
Phone Local: 416-222-TIPS (8477) / Toll Free: 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)
Text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637)
or Online at 222tips.com