No one would have expected that 2007 would have been worse than the so-called “Year of the Gun.” But with just days left in December, we’ve already surpassed that terrible murder record of 2005 with 84 homicides. Here’s a look back at all those who lost their lives to needless violence.
Homicide #1 of 2007 involved the last person anyone would think of as being a candidate for a killing. Jean Springer, a woman known to her Markham and Sheppard Ave. family as “Auntie Jean” answered the door at her Snowball Cres. home, to find a man standing on the stoop. He reportedly said “Happy New Year” then pulled the trigger. A suspect was arrested the next day.
Cops allege a transaction between drug dealers goes wrong near Eglinton and Don Mills, leaving 23-year-old Jeffery Watson dead. A 25-year-old suspect surrenders in February.
Murder #3: Jan. 11, 2007
Atiq Chowdhury is found gag and suffocated in his apartment at 1818 Weston Road. No one has been charged.
Passersby find the body of 23-year-old Patrick Barrera in McDairmid Woods Park. It’s at first deemed suspicious and is later classified as a homicide after forensic results show the victim died of gunshot wounds.
Murder #5, 2007: Jan. 20, 2007
A domestic leads to the fatal stabbing of a 36-year-old woman at a home on Northumberland Ave. A 42-year-old man later takes his own life.
The latest gunshot victim is also one of the youngest. Seventeen-year-old Kemar Long-Thompson is gunned down at 53 Scarborough Heights Blvd. A 14-year-old young offender surrenders the next month.
Lewis Alexander, just 18, is found stabbed to death at 160 Chalkfarm Drive.
Seventeen-year-old Rafi Quaderi is stabbed to death at the Beaver and Firkin Pub in Scarborough. A 20 year-old is charged with first degree murder.
A stunned roommate returns to 10 Jayzel Drive in the Finch and Weston Road area on March 15th to find his roommate dead from gunshot wounds. Lincoln Thomas was 40. There’s been no arrest. It’s homicide number nine and the 5th shooting of the year.
The next one comes just two days later at a birthday party at a business in the Oakwood and Vaughan area. The victim: 32-year-old Christopher Holder.
Murder #11: March 28, 2007
A 32-year-old female is found stabbed to death at 35 Finch Ave. E. A man two years her senior is charged in what cops called a domestic case.
Allen Benn is discovered dead at 40 Turf Grassway in the Jane-Finch area. The 18-year-old was stabbed to death. Four people – two 18-year-olds and a pair of 16-year-old young offenders – are charged.
Paramedics responding to a call find 29-year-old Tito Benjamin lying dead in an apartment above a store at Parliament and Wellesley. Cops admit they don’t have a lead to go on and the case remains open.
Eighteen-year-old Jeremy Paul is gunned down in a drive-by shooting, just metres from Burnhamthorpe Collegiate, at a school for adults on East Mall in Etobicoke. A 20-year-old male stands accused of 2nd degree murder.
Cops rush to 65 Greenbrae Circuit in the Markham Road and Lawrence area to find 44-year-old Gerard Telesford beaten to death. Hounded by a crush of publicity and security camera video, a 33-year-old turns himself in several days later.
A young offender is held after 20-year-old Jeffery Delgado is found stabbed to death behind a Stabucks near Bathurst and Sheppard.
Thirty-four-year-old Bradley Frank is found near the second floor elevator at 1340 Danforth Road. He’d been shot to death. A 22-year-old is charged with first-degree murder.
One of the most troubling murders of the year happens in one of the most unlikely places: onboard a subway train. Twenty-one-year-old Nick Brown is found stabbed to death in a deserted TTC car at the Victoria Park station as crews come to clean up after service ends for the night. A suspect is caught on video and police later release the tape. It pays off with the arrest of a 26-year-old man about a week later.
Cops are incensed as 24-year-old Kirk Richards of Mississauga is left to die after being gunned down outside a busy Dufferin and Wilson area club. Many saw what happened. Almost no one talks.
Jordon Ormonde is stabbed during a confrontation at the Kokkino Bar on Danforth Ave. He dies the next day. A 32-year-old faces first-degree murder charges.
Homeless woman Bly Markis is found stabbed to death in the stairwell of the Xerox building at 33 Bloor St. W. A manhunt based on security video turns up a 21-year-old suspect soon after.
A man is found inside an alleged marijuana grow-op house suffering from bullet wounds. He later succumbs in hospital. A 32-year-old male is charged with manslaughter.
Felice Bonadonna is beaten to death in his home at 7 Arcot Blvd. in the Albion-401 area. In a turn of events that shocked the neighbourhood, his 38-year-old son is accused of killing him with a hammer.
A case that took the entire city by surprise involves a philanthropic 66-year-old named Glen Davis. He was seen going into a building at 245 Eglinton Ave. E. but was ambushed by someone in the parking lot as he came out. By the time police arrived, he was dead from gunshot wounds. The suspect cops believe committed the deed was caught on video surveillance, but so far, he remains unidentified – and so does the motive, although detectives seem sure he was deliberately targeted.
Forty-year-old Mark Smith dies during a drive-by shooting on Weston Rd. A 37-year-old female companion inside the vehicle is injured but survives. There have been no arrests.
It is the shooting that leaves the city shaking its collective head wondering what is going on. Jordan Manners, a 15-year-old student at C.W. Jefferys C.I., is found shot to death in the hallway of the school. A long lockdown and a search for weapons follow. Two young offenders, both aged 17 and said to be friends of the victim, are arrested. Both are facing first degree murder charges.
It’s Victoria Day, but death takes no holiday. Nineteen-year-old Yonathan Musse is gunned down in a laneway off of Bathurst and Queen. He dies in hospital four days later. Despite appeals for witnesses, police are greeted only with silence.
Paul Prevost is found beaten to death in his Coxwell Ave. apartment. His 31-year-old nephew is charged in the shocking attack.
Forty-one-year-old Julian Hinckson is found stabbed at Leslie St. GO station. The crime remains unsolved.
Jose Seaz is killed and three of his friends are wounded in a drive-by near John Garland Blvd. and Jamestown Crescent. Two men in their 20s are accused of first degree murder and attempted murder.
Murder #31: June 11, 2006
A crime that actually occurred on May 30th is deemed a homicide in June, after police decide 45-year-old Igor Pavliv was beaten to death outside of 280 Spadina Ave. A 41-year-old is charged in the killing.
A rare vehicular homicide sees 20-year-old Daryl Sabado struck down on McRoberts Ave. He was at a barbeque when a fight raged out of control and cops allege his enraged opponent got into his car and deliberately ran him over. A 23-year-old is charged.
Murder #33: June 19, 2007
A tragic confrontation at the Seven Oaks Nursing Home on Neilson Road results in the beating death of 79-year-old Norman Crabtree. A 69-year-old resident is accused but no charges are ever filed after he’s found not fit to stand trial.
A double murder-suicide on Knowles Dr. near Morningside and Old Finch results in the death of two women, one 77, the other 43. A 13-year-old girl is also injured. The man police say stabbed them all is the husband and step-father, who takes his own life.
A 52-year-old named Denna Smith is stabbed to death at 446 Dundas St. E. A 47-year-old man is charged.
The first deadly double shooting of the year comes just three days after Canada Day. Charles Clifford, 43 and Shawn Day, 33, are both gunned down near Kingston Rd. and Sheppard Ave. A 16-year-old young offender surrenders five days later.
Murder #39: July 7, 2007
Police say Ajiganth Mahalingham was stabbed to death in an apartment at 4301 Kingston Road. A 28-year-old is charged with first-degree murder.
Police find 23-year-old Ricardo Francis lying on a lawn at a housing complex near Lawrence and the Allen. Many residents saw what happened, but few come forward and the case remains unsolved.
Abdul Qadiri dies of stab wounds at 50 Tuxedo Court. A 20-year-old man believed responsible takes his own life.
Kimel Foster was just 21 when he went to an Oakwood and Vaughan bar with friends. An argument broke out and when it was over, the young man was dead and three others were wounded. No arrests yet.
A shooting that outraged the entire city involved 11-year-old Ephraim Brown. It’s believed he was playing outside his home at 1880 Sheppard Ave. West when he got caught between two warring gangs. Two 21-year-olds are facing first degree murder charges.
A violent night continues with the shooting of 31-year-old Shawn James in St. Jamestown. Three people, including a 16-year-old young offender and a 23-year-old woman, are all facing charges.
The third victim of the night is 24-year-old Amin Aafi. He was hit outside the Flirt Lounge near Adelaide and Duncan early in the morning. Despite a review of security video in the area, the case remains unsolved.
The body of 25-year-old Michael George is discovered at Wilcox Creek Pathway near Morningside and Finch. His family is baffled as to why anyone would shoot him four times, noting he was never involved in any gang activity. His murder case is still open.
Murder #47: July 28, 2007
Forty-two-year-old Luciano Petrocelli is beaten to death at the corner of Dundas and Keele. The case remains unsolved.
One of the more intriguing cases from the year involved not just what was seen but what was heard. Toronto Police released audio tape of a garbled cell phone conversation between Munit Walia and someone named “Blanks.” The 27-year-old was gunned down in his car as he was waiting for his girlfriend outside a local daycare centre near Martin Grove and John Garland Blvd.
Tyler McGill, 22, dies after being stabbed the day before at a McDonald’s drive-thru on Eglinton Ave. E. A father and son, one 45, the other just 19, are charged.
Nineteen-year-old Kevon Hall is found shot to death in a Regent Park housing complex. Despite the fact the murder happened in broad daylight – around 1pm – no one claims to have seen anything.
The infamous panhandling murder reignites the debate on begging on the streets, after 32-year-old Ross Hammond is stabbed to death at Queen and Niagara Sts. after allegedly refusing to give change to a number of street people. A group of Americans are among those on the scene, but only 21-year-old Nicole Kish, a Canadian, is charged with second-degree murder.
Engin Yilmaz is found stabbed to death in a parking lot at 6 Milepost Place, near Thorncliffe Park and Overlea. Cops accuse a 35-year-old of wielding the weapon.
That same night Sharmarke Handouleh suffers fatal knife wounds in a park near the East Mall and Bloor. His attacker remains at large.
Russell Hoffman, 35, is fatally stabbed outside of 41 Pharmacy Ave. Two men surrender two days later.
Murder #55: August 25, 2007
A woman dies three days after allegedly being pushed from a speeding vehicle and suffering blunt force trauma to the head on Eglinton Ave. E. Cops call it a domestic dispute gone wrong and charge a 38-year-old male with manslaughter.
The city’s second-youngest murder victim is just 3 years old. Cops arrest the 32-year-old mother of Keayanna Chambers after she’s found choked to death in her Midland and Finch home.
Dineshkumar Murigiah is just 16 when he’s found stabbed to death in a laneway near Winston Churchill C.I. His murder remains unsolved.
Murder #58: Sept. 13, 2007
John Mark Tucker succumbs to the injuries he suffered in a beating on Lauder Ave. four days earlier. A 60-year-old man is charged.
Murder #59: Sept. 13, 2007
Patrick Doan Lim is discovered in an apartment lobby on Jane St. without vital signs on August 16th. Cops later determine he was shot to death. He dies a month later in hospital.
An unthinkable crime sees 22-year-old Melissa Alexandra arrested for allegedly scalding her 18-month-old son Miguel Fernandes. The child dies a day later.
Toronto’s most poignant double shooting comes from a gun wielded by a desperate man. Dying from cancer, 60-year-old Percy Grupstein kills his ailing 84-year-old mother Sarah in a College Park condo then turns the gun on himself. He leaves a note explaining he was worried no one could properly look after her.
A domestic murder-suicide takes the life of a 26-year-old woman on Graydon Hall Drive. A 30-year-old man dies by his own hand.
The body of a man is found inside a car parked at 2999 Jane St. Richard Gyamfi was just 19 when he was gunned down. The case is still unsolved.
Murder #64: Oct. 2, 2007
Cops rush to Whitburn Cres. to find a 25-year-old woman dead from stab wounds. Her 29-year-old common-law husband is charged.
Otis Rogers, 27, meets his end on the 12th floor of a Woolner Ave. apartment building. Cops arrest a 23-year-old man, charging Kendal Polius with first degree murder.
A tragic irony marks the shooting of 18-year-old Keegan Allen. He’s at an anti-violence rally on St. Clair Ave. W. on Thanksgiving night when he’s gunned down. No arrests have been made.
An alleged gunfight behind a Driftwood Ave. townhouse leaves 30-year-old Rachel Alleyne dead and three others wounded. No one has been arrested.
Cops aren’t sure just when what appears to be a domestic related murder-attempted suicide happened. All they can be sure of is an 81-year-old woman is dead and her 83-year-old husband is believed to have pulled the trigger. Despite initial reports that the older man died, he survives and is being charged with her murder. The motive is unknown.
Eight-year-old Megan Wilde is strangled to death in her home. Cops accuse her 36-year-old father in the terrible crime.
An eerie echo of one of the city’s most notorious cases resurfaces, with the murder of 21-year-old Eric Boateng. Once tied to the group suspected of killing Jane Creba in 2005, he’s also gunned down after visiting an inmate in the Don Jail. Suspects are seen fleeing the area and remain at large.
This shooting begins with a double mystery – why was 20-year-old Jaime Hylton gunned down in an apartment building at 5005 Dundas St. W. and what happened to the couple that was living there? Cops later heard from them and were told they didn’t want to talk to police.
Cops determine a 25-year-old woman found dead at 146 Presley Ave. more than a month earlier was strangled. A 35-year-old man is charged in the domestic case.
Murder #73: Nov. 3, 2007
Christopher O’Neill, 23, is found stabbed to death at 10 Eddystone Ave. and a teen is injured. Cops at first believe the victim was shot, but an autopsy rules otherwise. No one has been caught.
Dwayne Campbell was just 27 when he was shot to death at 285 Shuter St. He was getting off an elevator when he was ambushed.
A long weekend for homicide detectives begins with the discovery of a man shot to death in a car at Birchmount and Bonis Ave. E. Ryan Hyde was just 19 when he was hit. Later that night, cops are called to an underground garage at 5600 Sheppard Ave. E. where 25-year-old Kennado Walker is discovered dead from gunshot wounds. Cops believe he killed the first victim, but don’t know who turned the gun on him.
A violent night continues with the stabbing death of 35-year-old Darryl James Debassige on the 3rd floor of an O’Connor Dr. address. A 25-year-old is arrested several weeks later.
Murder #78: Nov. 25, 2007
Delane Daley dies in a hail of gunfire on Driftwood Ave. Four men are seen running from the complex, but no one is arrested.
Twenty-seven-year-old Shaun Williams is found shot to death on the 7 th floor of 90 Mornelle Ct. Kwabena Sarfo Duah, 19, turns himself in the next day.
The final month of the year gets off to a terrible start when 16-year-old Keyon Campbell is found at his mother’s house in the Morningside and Finch area at 1:40am suffering from gunshot wounds. He later dies in hospital. Police describe the boy as a bright and gifted student who was holding down a job. They have no apparent motive and no suspects. A major snowstorm hampers their ability to gather evidence at the scene.
The murder that breaks the Year of the Gun record. Fitawrari Lunan was shot to death in his home in a crime cops call a deliberately targeted home invasion. The victim was just 25. His killers remain at large.
It was the night before Christmas Eve and there wasn’t much goodwill towards 29-year-old Karim Rashid Ata-Ayi. He was gunned down at a playground on Blevins Place in the River and Shuter area. Four or five people were seen running from the scene, and at least as many were taken into custody for questioning. But all were released the next day. There haven’t been any arrests yet and the motive for the killing isn’t known.
Police are called to the Beacon Hill Towers complex at 2737 Kipling Ave. near Steeles after a report of a domestic dispute. They find a grim and bloody scene, with two young people dead. A third person suffering stab wounds is also discovered near the scene. The latest murders come on Boxing Day, just 24 hours after Christmas and only six days away from the start of a New Year.