No arrests yet in Toronto bus stop shooting attacks

Two months after Adu Boakye was shot three times and killed while walking by a bus stop at Jane Street and Driftwood Avenue, loved ones say they are still in shock and holding out hope for justice.”He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Richardson Adorsu. “I hope my friend will get justice for what has happened to him, and I hope the police will make this happen.”Boakye was one of two people shot near that intersection in less than 24 hours in February.The first attack took place around 6 p.m. on Feb. 16. A 16 year old, waiting for the bus to go to a volleyball game, was critically injured after being shot in the face. He survived.Boakye, shot the following afternoon, did not. Investigators said he was shot repeatedly, twice in the stomach. He died in hospital.Adorsu met Boakye at the airport on Nov. 22, when he first arrived from Ghana. Adorsu says the two shared a meal together that evening, and he drove the newcomer around downtown Toronto, showing him his new city.The father of four planned to work in Toronto to support his family back home. Adorsu says Boakye had only been working at his new job in a warehouse for three weeks, at the time of his attack.Friends say he would often video call his wife during his breaks and was focused on sending money back home.”He was so happy to be here, and he loved his family so much,” Adorsu said.Ghanaian community planning funeralEmmanuel Duodu, president of the Ghanaian-Canadian Association of Ontario, says the community is traumatized by what happened. A GoFundMe has been started to help raise money for funeral costs and Boakye’s children.”We all have traveled this path,” he said. “One way or the other, we came into this country and we love this country. He had only been here for a few months, and to encounter such a tragedy was something that our community was shocked to hear.”Emmanuel Duodu is the president of the Ghanaian-Canadian Association of Ontario. He says it’s been important for the association to rally behind the community and Boakye’s family after the attack. (Talia Ricci/CBC)With the suspect or suspects still at large, Duodo says there is a feeling of unease.”There is a sense of, who’s next?” He said.Duodo said the association is planning Boakye’s funeral, and working through logistics to bring his family to Toronto in the coming weeks.Police command post remains, investigation ongoingToronto police say a command post has been set up near the Driftwood Community Recreation Centre since the shootings happened. The command post provides onsite trauma counselling. Back in February, police said the attacks were carried out randomly, by the same suspect or suspects. They said the victims didn’t know each other or the suspect, nor were they involved in gang activity.No arrests have been made, but police have released a photo of a suspect, and said they linked the attacks to a stolen black Acura found in Hamilton. Police say they are looking for a man, around 18 to 25 years old, with a thin build. Police say he was last seen wearing a black coat, a white hooded sweatshirt, black pants, black shoes, a black face covering and possibly a white surgical mask underneath. At the time of the attacks, community members, politicians and police went on a prayer walk to honour the victims, build connections and call for change. “I really thought this incident was going to be brought to closure much sooner,” said Anthony Perruzza, councillor for Humber River–Black Creek.Coun. Anthony Perruzza says community feedback at the roundtable discussions on how to improve safety, is what led to the creation of an action plan back in March. (Craig Chivers/CBC)”Obviously that person being at large is creating some angst, but the community has been coming out; there was a vigil, a safety assessment has been done, there have been several meetings and lots of engagement with police,” Perruzza said, adding the community hasn’t been shaken by gun violence like this in a long time.The area around Jane Street and Finch Avenue has seen improvements in community safety in recent years, with police saying last month that gun violence reached a 10-year low in 2023. In March, a roundtable discussion on gun violence took place in the neighborhood. Around 30 people attended the meeting, among them: Perruzza, police officers, community housing workers, social workers, city staff and people impacted by gun violence. At the time, Perruzza said some of the immediate asks from the community included better information sharing about city programs and how to access them, and better lighting in and around the community centre, at Toronto Community Housing buildings and on local streets.Engaging with the community about designing more effective outreach programs that connect with young people also remains a priority, he said.Advocates say more funding for grassroots organizations in the area is needed, as well as more support from all levels of government.”It’s a tragedy when you hear that happening anywhere in the city. I think what’s particularly hard though, when you hear about it happening in Jane and Finch, is it raises these issues that we have around the stigma of violence in the community,” said Michelle Dagnino, executive director of the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre.”For those of us who have lived and worked in the community for decades, it raises, again, this cycle of how we think about the community from a place of negative media, rather than a place where people can thrive,” Dagnino said.Adorsu says he believes Boakye would have thrived if given the chance to settle into his new life in Toronto. He describes his friend as quiet, thoughtful and loving and says he will be missed.”I took him in like a brother… and all he wanted was to pursue a better life for his family,” Adorsu said.

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