Toronto police have identified a 33-year-old man killed in a drive-by shooting at a plaza in Rexdale Wednesday night.
Police responded to a call of a shooting around 11:30 p.m. near Martin Grove Road and John Garland Boulevard just south of Finch Avenue West.
Investigators said the victim was walking towards the storefronts with another person when a vehicle approached.
“I believe that the deceased was made aware of the vehicle and created a distance between the witness and the vehicle that is approaching him,” Det. Jeff Tavares told reporters during a news conference Friday morning.
Police said there was a brief interaction between the occupants of the vehicle and the victim.
“At this time, the vehicle stopped short of the deceased, an interaction occurred between the deceased and the occupants of the vehicle, and gunfire came from within the vehicle striking the deceased,” Tavares said.
The vehicle then fled the scene heading westbound on John Garland Boulevard.
WATCH: Toronto police identify victim in fatal drive-by shooting in Rexdale plaza
Authorities said officers arrived on the scene and located a man suffering from a gunshot wound. He was rushed to hospital where he later died.
Police said they received initial reports that three or four shots were fired from a vehicle that sped away from the scene.
Authorities said the vehicle is described as newer model silver four-door sedan.
Police said the victim, identified as Andre Phoenix from Toronto, was a father and fully employed. He also had ties to the Jamestown neighbourhood but did not live there.
Tavares said it is unclear if the victim and the occupants of the vehicle knew each other. Police have not released any information about the suspects, possibly two or more, involved in the shooting.
Investigators said they have recovered some surveillance video from the area and are urging anyone with information to come forward.
Multiple shootings in northwest end of Toronto
Authorities said there were three daylight shootings in the northwest end of the city on Tuesday and the homicide on Wednesday, which have citizens on edge.
“There’s a great sense of uncertainty and not being safe. Not being allowed to have your children out,” 23 Division Supt. Ron Taverner said.
“We’re hearing that a great deal from community members within the last couple of days of how they feel unsafe of letting their kids even out to play in playgrounds.”
Taverner said what’s even more troubling is that the shootings don’t seem to be connected in any way.
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“Absolutely more concerning because that means there’s more people out there with guns. There are more of these individuals that are so cavalier in the things they are doing. Targeting people. Disregard for life of innocent people,” he said.
“It doesn’t make it any better if it’s a one-on-one shooting of someone that they are targeting because of some kind of turf war or whatever it is. It’s still a homicide. It’s still a murder. It’s still violence we need to get a handle on and stop.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS.
VIDEO: 3 separate shootings in 2-hour period in Toronto’s west end
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