Sunday , June 20 2021

Shooting during the day on beaches choca locals



A daytime beach shootout, a neighborhood preferred by its close-knit community, has left some residents unsafe.

Police responded to a shooting report near the intersection of Queen St. East and Woodbine Avenue. around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. They found two male victims in their 20s suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. The victims were transported to the hospital conscious and breathing and should recover.

Toronto police isolated the street on Queen St. East and Woodbine Ave. after shots were fired Sunday afternoon. Two men were taken to the hospital with injuries.
Toronto police isolated the street on Queen St. East and Woodbine Ave. after shots were fired Sunday afternoon. Two men were taken to the hospital with injuries. (TANIS FOWLER / TORONTO STAR)

Police found wrappings and three firearms in place, as well as a bullet-proof vehicle. Insp. Anthony Paoletta said he believed the victims were shot while they were inside the vehicle and then went to a nearby business.

Two male suspects who were seen leaving the area on foot were arrested, said Const. Arrogant Katrina. Police found a second vehicle near the scene that they say was abandoned by the suspects.

Paoletta said the shooting may have started north on Woodbine Avenue. near Kingston Rd. before heading south toward Queen St.

The lane to the north of Woodbine Avenue. and the eastern strip of Queen St. was closed around the scene of the incident for several hours while police investigated.

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Gordon Leask, who has lived in the area for three years and worked in the community for nearly 10 years, was detained at a northern intersection on Woodbine Avenue. with his fiancée when they heard shots next to his car, followed by a squealing car to the south along Woodbine Avenue.

"It was a surreal experience," Leask said. "I was born and raised in Scarborough, where that sort of thing just happens … but happening in that area is unheard of."

He said the area is "family friendly" and "a safe and inclusive neighborhood," and the shooting, though shocking, will not change that. "Just because it happened once does not change my mind," he said.

Others say the incident has changed their perspective on the neighborhood.

Chris Gradin, a neighborhood resident whose apartment overlooks the crime scene, said he was "stunned" when he returned home and found his street full of police officers.

"To have him at our door like this is shocking," he said. "We (feel) insecure in our own neighborhood, and that's disturbing."

Gradin, who moved to the Vancouver area about a year ago with his wife and son, said he chose him because he was known to be calm and family-oriented.

"It's not something we're watching from afar," Gradin said. "That's very real."

Rhianna Jackson-Kelso is a breaking news reporter, working in Star's radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @RhiannaJK


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