The top cop in North Etobicoke says he’ll be bringing in reinforcements from other divisions to try and halt the stem of deadly violence that’s griped the Jamestown neighbourhood recently.
Supt. Ron Taverner is dismayed by three murders over the last two weeks — the most recent on Monday night when 46-year-old hearing impaired husband and father, Donald Beckles, was shot to death.
The three killings are on top of three other separate shootings since Jan. 20th.
Police say Beckles was “executed” while smoking a cigarette on his porch at 163 Jamestown Cres. in the Kipling Avenue and Albion Road area on Monday night.
“He was simply having a smoke while his wife and children were asleep in bed and having that hearing impairment he probably didn’t hear the people coming up to him,” said Homicide Det. Murray Barnes.
Beckles had no criminal record and police say he wasn’t involved in any high-risk behaviour.
“He was a good man,” his heartbroken mother, Edith Beckles, wailed. “He was a good boy. He was a good son. He’s a good father…And five bullets in his stomach…he loves his family and he loves people.”
“I pray for the mother of the person who has birthed that child that could be so wicked…I pray she would tell him ‘go give yourself up to police.’ ”
Security camera footage shows two males running from the scene and fleeing in a black vehicle.
His murder marks a particularly violent period in the neighbourhood.
Trevor Seraphine, 17, was shot and killed in the early morning hours of Mar. 21 after visiting a friend’s house on Willowridge Road, near Eglinton Avenue West and Martin Grove Road.
Malcolm Marfo, 22, was one of two people shot within hours of each other in the Islington Avenue and Dixon area on March 17. Marfo died from his injuries, but Ahmed Siyad, 22, survived.
“The senselessness of the whole thing, that’s really what’s bothersome,” Taverner said. “There’s a lot of handguns. There’s a lot of violence taking place out there that’s unrelated to each other. It’s disturbing.”
“I’m pissed right off.”
It’s a sentiment that’s shared by many, but one longtime resident is intent on focusing on the positive side of the community.
Marcia Brown is a longtime resident of North Etobicoke. She’s also the executive director of Trust 15 — a program that teaches hope and opportunity to youth in the community.
She wants to see news cameras in the area for more than homicides.
“Every time they (children) see a camera person they are thinking ‘great what happened again?’ But it would be nice for a change to have the cameramen come back and saying ‘let’s see what amazing things are happening in this community that’s changing the lives of many.’ ”
Trust 15 is hosting a student success fundraiser on April 11. To learn more, click here.