Toronto police have released video footage of a brazen downtown gunfight that claimed the life of a 21-year-old man, injured two others, and saw bullets flying within inches of a six-year-old boy and his mother.
Dimarjio Jenkins, a local rapper who went by the name Houdini, was pronounced dead shortly after the shooting near the intersection of King and Peter streets just after 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
Police said Jenkins was walking in the area with three associates, including a 15-year-old boy, when a gunman wearing a medical mask exited a blue Volkswagen Tiguan that was laying in wait and began opening fire.
The video shows two of Jenkins’ associates pull out their own guns and begin firing back. Police allege the 15-year-old, who suffered a non life-threatening gunshot wound, was one of the people wielding a gun.
The teen is currently in custody facing weapons charges.
A 27-year-old woman who police say was an innocent bystander was struck by a stray bullet. She is expected to make a full recovery.
Det. Sgt. Andy Singh said 23 shell casings were recovered, along with two guns. The gun allegedly used by the 15-year-old jammed and was found in a nearby alley, Singh said. A second gun belonging to one of Jenkins’ associates was also found.
The gun that was used to kill Jenkins is still outstanding, but the suspect vehicle was found burned in York Region. Singh said it was a rental vehicle.
Singh said the six-year-old boy and his mother were very lucky to evade the bullets that were seen on video bouncing on the ground near their feet.
“(The boy) was exactly in the line of gunfire,” Singh said.
“This is unacceptable,” he added. “We had a very young family in the area. Many casualties could have occurred. This was an active gun fight happening in broad daylight, there was no regard for life.”
Singh said it’s too early to speculate on a motive, but said he believes Jenkins was the intended target.
“From what we have seen in terms of video footage, it’s a targeted shooting. I believe Mr. Jenkins was the target.”
Singh added that one of Jenkins’ associates was captured on security video from a nearby business shortly after the gunfight. At the time, police released his photo and appealed to the public to come forward to help identify him.
On Friday morning, police said “we have identified the person in the photographs and he is a young person … an update will be provided as soon as possible.”
Singh also said it was too early to speculate on gang involvement, but said police are exploring all avenues.
“We are aware of the gangs that are out there … It would be speculation at this point, but we are looking at that. Right now it’s too early to say.”
With files from The Canadian Press