Danzig shooter sentenced to life

By News Staff and The Canadian Press

A 21-year-old man who started the Danzig shooting when he was 17 has been sentenced to life in prison.

Folorunso Owusu was sentenced as an adult and will not be eligible for parole for seven years, Justice Ian Nordheimer said Wednesday.

Owusu was found guilty of second-degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault and reckless use of a firearm in March.


Shyanne Charles, 14, and Joshua Yasay, 23, were killed and 22 others were injured at the barbecue, which was held at a housing complex near Morningside Avenue and Danzig Street on July 16, 2012.

“It’s been (a) huge lift off of our shoulders. It’s been agony to relive this day by day each day … and to hear that justice was served today for all, not just Josh and Shyanne, but all the other victims that were injured that day,” Jennylyn Yasay, the eldest of Joshua’s two sisters, told the media after the sentencing.

“We’ve suffered permanently. We’re never going to get Joshua back but we know that there is justice and we had faith in the justice system, we continue to have faith in God and pray,” she continued.

Video: Joshua Yasay’s family emotional after Danzig shooter sentenced to life. To watch on mobile click here

Owusu maintained throughout the trial that he didn’t fire his gun, starting a wild shootout in a crowd of 200 people that included small children.

The judge says Owusu did not act impulsively when he brought a loaded handgun to a party where he knew there may be rival gang members.

In handing down his sentence for second-degree murder, Nordheimer called the crime a “truly horrific event.”

“The offences here were horrendous. But they were also, in one sense, almost predictable,” the judge explained. “The respondent went to this block party armed with a fully loaded handgun. He knew that, if he used that handgun, others around him would respond in kind.”

Justice Nordheimer's reasons for adult sentence

During last month’s sentencing hearing, which heard emotional victim impact statements, Owusu apologized to the families of the victims.

“If I hadn’t brought a firearm to the barbeque your loved ones would be alive,” he said. “I was a difficult and disrespectful 17-year-old. I’m so sorry.”

Owusu was the last suspect to be sentenced in the shooting and the only one that went to trial.

Last year, two first-degree murder charges were dropped against Shaquan Mesquito, one of the other men accused in the shooting. He pleaded guilty to other charges, including counselling to murder and uttering a threat to a person to cause bodily harm. He was sentenced to nine years less time served.

In 2014, Nahom Tsegazab was sentenced 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of manslaughter.

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