6/26/2022
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Five men attacked in drive-by shooting outside Scarborough mosque during Ramadan: police


Sunday April 17, 2022Five people were injured following a drive-by shooting in the area of Markham Road and Lawrence Avenue East in Scarborough Saturday morning. 

Toronto police say a group of men who had just finished midnight prayers were “randomly attacked” in a drive-by shooting in Scarborough early Saturday morning.

At around 1 a.m., a group of individuals celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan gathered in a parking lot to discuss where to eat after they had just finished praying, in the area of Markham Road and Lawrence Avenue East, police said.

“While they were here and just getting ready to leave, shots rang out. And unfortunately five individuals were struck by those bullets from what we believe came from perhaps a vehicle on Markham Road that was traveling by,” Acting Staff Supt. David Rydzik said at a news conference Saturday afternoon.

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Four men were found at the scene with gunshot wounds and transported to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

A fifth victim, who also sustained non-life-threatening injuries, made his own way to hospital.

Police said the victims are between 28 and 35 years old, and some are married with children.

“Three of those five have been released from hospital right now and the other two are expected to make a very good recovery,” Rydzik said.

At least six shots were fired at the men but it’s unknown how many suspects were involved in the

Toronto police say a group of men who had just finished midnight prayers were “randomly attacked” in a drive-by shooting in Scarborough early Saturday morning.

At around 1 a.m., a group of individuals celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan gathered in a parking lot to discuss where to eat after they had just finished praying, in the area of Markham Road and Lawrence Avenue East, police said.

“While they were here and just getting ready to leave, shots rang out. And unfortunately five individuals were struck by those bullets from what we believe came from perhaps a vehicle on Markham Road that was traveling by,” Acting Staff Supt. David Rydzik said at a news conference Saturday afternoon.

Four men were found at the scene with gunshot wounds and transported to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

A fifth victim, who also sustained non-life-threatening injuries, made his own way to hospital.

Police said the victims are between 28 and 35 years old, and some are married with children.

“Three of those five have been released from hospital right now and the other two are expected to make a very good recovery,” Rydzik said.

At least six shots were fired at the men but it’s unknown how many suspects were involved in the shooting, according to Rydzik.

Early reports from police said the suspects fled the scene in a blue car and travelled northbound on Markham Road.

“We do believe that the suspects were in a vehicle that was traveling by but we are working very hard gathering surveillance video footage to try and corroborate that so at this point in time I can't say for certain what vehicle was used in this particular shooting, nor do I have a suspect description at this time,” Rydzik said.

Police said they can’t say at this time if the victims were targeted because of their religious beliefs.

Rydzik added that the group of men appear to have been randomly attacked as there’s no information to suggest that they are involved in any type of criminality.

“They [had] just come from prayers. They're gathering here because they've been fasting all day. They're gathering here as they normally would during Ramadan to figure out ‘where are we going to go and eat’ and perhaps continue talking about Ramadan and it's absolutely concerning.”

In a tweet published Saturday afternoon, Toronto Police Chief James Ramer said that while it’s too early to confirm a motive, the service’s hate crimes unit is engaged in the investigation.

Nadeem Sheikh, board member of the Scarborough Muslim Association, also spoke at the news conference and said he’s concerned by the latest brazen shooting in the community.

“I'm really upset and worried. I'm concerned. Five mature, grown, family-oriented men were shot this morning,” Sheikh said.

“We call upon our local police authorities that we've been working with closely, our local governments, that they apply every resource possible to apprehend these suspects and to curb the gun violence in this community as well as every other community in Toronto,” he added.

Police are asking anyone with information or dash camera footage to contact 43 Division or Crime Stoppers anonymously

 



 





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