‘I don’t want prayers, I want something done’: Mother of Greektown shooting victim pleads for action

The mother of Toronto’s latest shooting victim is fighting, speaking out and calling on the mayor to fix the city’s gun violence. Tina Yazdani reports.

The mother of a recent Toronto shooting victim is speaking out and calling on officials to do something about gun violence in the city.

Directing her words at the new mayor, Charmaine Flowers is pleading for action to address what she says is a growing problem that ended up claiming the life of her son.

“Toronto is a good city, but I’m speaking to Olivia Chow right now,” said a visibly emotional Flowers, standing next to a memorial for her son in the city’s east end.

“I don’t want any more condolences. I don’t want no prayers,” she says. “I want something done about the gun violence because Toronto is slowly becoming America.”

Officers responded to the area of Danforth and Carlaw avenues around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday for reports of gunshots. Police allege there was a fight involving multiple people and someone fired a gun.

Shamar Powell-Flowers was struck and rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition where he was later pronounced dead. No suspect information has been made available.

Danforth shooting

Shamar Powell-Flowers, 29, of Toronto was identified as the victim of a fatal shooting in Toronto’s Greektown neighbourhood on July 23, 2023.

“You robbed me everything I have,” said Flowers in tears. “You robbed my daughter, you robbed my grandkids. You robbed us of everything.”

“I don’t know how I’m going to be able to bury me child. I don’t know how I’m going to face it.”

Shamar’s sister Olivia says her brother had no prior connection to gun violence or criminal activity.

“He did everything he was supposed to in life,and this is how he ended up,” she says.

Related: Five years on, Danforth shooting vivid for those affected, gun control key issue

Crime data from Toronto Police Services shows shootings are down so far in 2023 compared to the previous four years where the city saw more than one shooting per day.

There were 226 shootings resulting in 26 deaths from the start of 2022 through to July 23, 2022.. That same time period this year has seen 167 shootings resulting in 14 deaths.

Despite a downward statistical trend, a pair of recent daytime shootings involving innocent bystanders being struck have left some in the city shaken.

Earlier this month, a 44-year-old woman was struck and killed by a bullet in Leslieville after a group of three men got into an altercation nearby and two of them fired guns at each other. The death magnified concerns from some residents about what they say has been a rise in violence and drug use around a supervised consumption site in a community centre near the shooting scene.

Last week, a weekend daytime shooting at a housing complex in Scarborough saw an innocent bystander struck by gunfire. Witnesses said at least 30 kids were outside playing in a nearby courtyard area when the shooting occurred.

Hours before Shamar was killed, and only a few blocks away, the city had held an informal gathering to mark five years since a man went on a shooting rampage along the bustling thoroughfare, killing two people and injuring 13 others.

Chow spoke at the event, extending her condolences to the families of those who were lost and to those who continue to be affected by that night.

With files from Tina Yazdani and The Canadian Press

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