Man to serve around 9 years in prison for Annex lawyer shooting

By News staff

A man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison, but will serve around nine years, for shooting a criminal defence lawyer in downtown Toronto last year.

J. Randall Barrs, 66, was shot in the afternoon of Sept. 20, 2016, as he left his law office on Bedford Road, near Bloor and St. George streets. Barrs was approached by a man dressed in a construction vest as he was placing items in his car and shot several times in the legs. He survived the shooting.

Toronto police initially charged Grayson Delong, 51, with 15 offences, including attempted murder.

However, a plea deal was reached, which excluded attempted murder. Delong pleaded guilty on Friday to aggravated assault, disguise with intent, discharged firearm with intent and possessing a loaded restricted firearm.

The sentencing hearing was held on Tuesday. Due to pre-trial time served in custody, Delong has nine years and seven months left to serve.

The province’s Special Investigations Unit, which was called in to probe the case, said Halton Regional Police officers were conducting surveillance in the area and one of them shot the gunman. That officer was later cleared of wrongdoing.

But on Tuesday, Barrs said he is launching a civil suit against Halton police for negligence — for not stopping a man they had under surveillance from shooting him.

The lawyer said that if he was the Crown, police officer or judge, there would not have been a plea deal to the charge of aggravated assault. He also said the charge of attempted murder should not have been dropped.

Barrs wants an investigation into how Halton police handled Delong.

Related stories:

Man charged in hospital bed with attempted murder of Toronto lawyer

Lawyer shot in the Annex worked on major marijuana case

SIU clears Halton officer in shooting of man in the Annex

With files from Marianne Boucher and The Canadian Press

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