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Man charged in hospital bed with attempted murder of Toronto lawyer

Last Updated Sep 22, 2016 at 4:58 pm EDT

J. Randall Barrs is loaded into an ambulance after a shooting on Bedford Road in Toronto on Sept. 20, 2016. HANDOUT/Peter Schilling

A 51-year-old man accused of shooting a Toronto lawyer has been formally charged with 15 counts, including attempted murder.

Toronto police say Grayson Delong — who was charged in his hospital bed Thursday — also faces a charge of disguise with intent and 13 firearms-related counts.

Prominent criminal defence lawyer J. Randall Barrs, 66, was approached by a man as he was placing items in his car outside his Yorkville law office and shot several times in the legs.

Witness Peter Schilling, who saw the incident from his second-floor office on Tuesday afternoon, said Barrs crawled towards his office after being shot, leaving a trail of blood behind him.

Seconds after the shots rang out, Schilling said he saw a man he believed to be an undercover officer sprint toward the scene, draw his weapon and begin firing at the gunman, who was wearing a reflective construction vest and hard hat.

Schilling said the man tried to get away in a car, but was boxed in by unmarked SUVs.

“It was just absolutely horrific and as loud as you think it would be,” Schilling said. “It was like watching a TV show.”


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Ontario’s police watchdog said plainclothes officers from nearby Halton Region were conducting surveillance in the area when a man opened fire on the lawyer as he was leaving his office around 3:30 p.m.

The Special Investigations Unit, which investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault, has taken over part of the investigation.

Toronto police continue to investigate the shooting of the lawyer, spokesman Const. Victor Kwong said Wednesday. Neither Toronto nor Halton Regional Police would say why Halton officers were in the area at the time.

Barrs is a respected trial lawyer who has defended clients in several murder and drug cases, according to his website.