Toronto’s latest homicide victim was shot to death in front of his pregnant partner and two children while attending a memorial for another murder victim, Toronto police revealed on Monday.
Police were called to Coronation Park, near Lake Shore Blvd. and Strachan Ave., around 6:15 p.m. Sunday night after reports of multiple gunshots just south of the baseball diamond at the park, which is located in close proximity to the Canadian National Exhibition grounds.
Police arrived to find a male victim with gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
During a news conference on Monday police identified the victim as Michael Lewis, 30, of Markham.
Lewis was attending a memorial for Kamal Hercules, who was shot to death outside a downtown convenience store in the early morning hours of September 5, 2009. A source told CityNews Lewis was a friend of Hercules.
Thornton said Lewis was approached by four men and after a brief conversation one of them pulled out a gun and began firing it.
“After a short conversation our shooter pulled a handgun and fired multiple shots striking Mr. Lewis at close range,” Thornton explained.
Police believe the victim knew the suspects, but wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of their relationship.
“We believe that he was approached and known by the suspects,” Thornton added.
Thornton said Lewis had a “minor criminal record” but wouldn’t comment on possible gang ties.
The suspects fled northbound towards Lake Shore Boulevard and police are appealing for any witnesses, or anyone with video, to come forward.
Thornton said between 30 to 40 people were attending the memorial at the time, adding that others, including children, were enjoying the park on a busy long weekend.
This is the 73rd homicide of the year and the third gunshot fatality since Friday.