A Community Approach to Anti-gun Violence
The tragic gun violence in our city raised many questions in 2018; why is this happening; what are those responsible for enforcement doing; where are the guns coming from and how do we stop access; how are we dealing with mental health concerns; how are we dealing with healing; what do effective interventions look like, etc.
One very critical gap not addressed in these discussions is how we create spaces for all Torontonians to have their voices heard. The people most impacted by this issue had been largely absent in being called on to help develop the solutions. In a city that prides itself on being democratic, valuing diversity and being a place people can thrive and call home, Torontonians acknowledge that we need to do a better job of making sure everyone has a chance to share how they have experienced this violence and the ongoing effects this continues to have in our communities, neighbourhoods and city as a whole.
SCCC and partners, in response to this situation, developed the #TOCares Campaign; an effort that aimed to create a platform and invite all Torontonians from all walks of life to participate in the civic life of our city and help craft meaningful responses to the violence we continue to see.
Our city knows that Torontonians are resilient, dynamic, talented people – this challenge highlighted the spirit and talent of our residents helped us challenge ourselves to highlight the best of our city with our collective message of anti-gun violence.
An Arts Exhibition and Awards Ceremony was held on October 27th, 2018 with the support of over 50 sponsors representing the private, government and public sectors at OCADU, where 68 participants received awards of appreciation for their dedication to the health, safety, resilience and love of our city and its residents. Below you will see the submissions of so many talented residents- ranging from childhood to senior- and their unforgettable messages to our city and beyond.
Number of homicides in 2018 – Click for presentation
Number of homicides in 2019
As of May 6th, 2019, 24 people have been killed in Toronto so far this year. They are:
- Ian Dyer, 36, was stabbed to death in a Toronto Community Housing building near Danforth and Midland on Jan. 6. Leigh Min, 34, was arrested two days later and charged with first-degree murder.
- Lorraine Kerubo Ogoti, 30, was found on an eighth-floor unit of a Scarborough apartment building suffering from stab wounds on 8. She died at the scene.
- Aseel Yehya, 18, was shot dead in an Etobicoke street on 9 after police said a dark-coloured vehicle approached him.
- Lingathasan Suntharamoorthy, 36, was shot dead in a Scarborough apartment building in the early morning of 12.
- Hanh (Hana) Nguyen, 41, was stabbed to death at her home, near Jane and St. Clair Ave. W., on Jan. 24. Austin Le, 40, was found at the scene and charged with second-degree murder.
- Jaunoi Christian, 24, was shot dead outside a nightclub on Queen St. E. near Parliament on Feb. 8. Ibrahim Khiar, 33, of Toronto, was arrested and charged with first degree murder on Feb. 20.
- Veronika Mrhova, 24, was sitting in a white Mercedes-Benz when it was shot at multiple times near Lake Shore and Silver Moon Dr. early on Feb. 10. She died in hospital five days later.
- Dean Howlett, 25, was found suffering from gunshot wounds in the stairwell of an apartment building on Lawrence E., west of Kingston Rd., in Scarborough on Feb. 12. Naod Tsegazab, 22, of Toronto, was later charged with second-degree murder in his death.
- Tesfa Welsh-Hope, 28, was shot dead near Islington and Rexdale Blvd. in Rexdale on Feb. 13. Kyle Dias, 19, of Toronto, was arrested on Vancouver Island on March 15 and charged with second-degree murder.
- Nicklus McKain, 18, was shot near 18 John Garland , near Kipling Ave. and Albion Rd. in Rexdale shortly before 2 p.m. on Feb. 24.
- Jason Otis Lewis, 47, was found unconscious and not breathing at an apartment on Broadway Ave., near Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave. E. early on March 4. An autopsy found he died of blunt-force trauma. Quentin Luke Lewis, 42, was charged with second-degree
- Martin Anthony Johnson, 51, was found dead at a North York apartment complex after a shooting on March 11. Police said they were called to 5 Dorado Crt., near Keele and Sheppard Ave. W. at 11:20 p.m.
- Jennyfer Lachappelle, 41, was found dead at 3 m. on March 13 at an apartment near Davenport Rd. and Symington Ave. Andrew Gerber, 38, has been charged with second-degree murder. Friends said Gerber and Lachappelle were in a relationship and may have been engaged.
- Helen Fronczak, 79, was found dead around 8:30 p.m. on March 19 at an apartment near Kipling and Eglinton Ave. W. Larry Fronczak, 80, has been charged with second-degree murder.
- Jerome Belle, 22, was shot shortly before 3:30 m. on March 20 near Dundas West subway station. Police are searching for at least one male suspect.
- Nashwan Yonan, 32, was shot shortly after midnight on March 8 at a Petro- Canada gas station at Eglinton Ave. E. and Avenue Rd. He died nearly two weekslater on March 21. Police are looking for a suspect.
- Rae Cara Carrington, 51, was stabbed in the PATH system in the area of King W and Bay St. on April 10. She died on the scene. Duncan O’Neil Sinclair, 19, of Toronto, was arrested two days later by Southern Georgian Bay OPP and charged with first degree murder.
- Wilfred Kent Truman, 77, was killed in his home near Eglinton W. and Black Creek Dr. on April 15. Kyle Truman, 49, of Toronto, has been charged with first degree murder.
- Jermaine Gerard Skeete, 34, was shot at 571 Vaughan near Oakwood Ave. on April 21. He later died in hospital.
- Lawrence Taylor Gannon, 28, was shot April 28 in Scarborough on Ivy Green Cres., near Brimorton and Orton Park Rd. He died two days later. Police are looking for a suspect.
- Premachchandran Sundaralingam, 53, died after a previous altercation on April 29 near Renforth and Rathburn Rd. Richard “Rick” Turner, 48, was arrested on May 2 and charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault, and threatening death.
- Blain Gerrado Grindley, 26, was shot in Rexdale on May 1, near John Garland Blvd. and Humber College No suspects have been identified yet.
- Justin Kyle Ezeard, 32, was fatally shot on May 3 at a commercial establishment at 111 Millwick Dr., in the area of Steeles and Islington. No suspects have been identified.
- Brendon Bowler, 17, died in hospital of stab wounds sustained on May 6, 2019. Emmett Carew, 18, and Cheddi Itwaroo, 20, have each been charged with second-degree murder.
– Courtesy Toronto Star
Talking to Residents:
As a follow up, SCCC held a consultation with city residents on Saturday February 23rd 2019 to identify strategies for everyone to move forward and take action to address and prevent future incidents, and figure out how we can all play a role in strengthening the resilience of our city.
Please see the full consultation report here.
Toronto is strong; Toronto is diverse; Toronto will not allow gun violence.
SCCC and its partners will continue to participate in other leadership movements to confront this issue. For those continuing to work on active efforts that would like SCCC’s partnership, please email firstname.lastname@example.org