The mother of a rising young basketball star who was shot to death on Saturday made a public appeal on Monday for witnesses. Nineteen-year-old Justin Sheppard was one of three people who were murdered in Toronto on the weekend.
He had planned to go to Maryland on a basketball scholarship this fall and was supposed to graduate from high school this week. Instead, early Saturday, he was shot in the head on a pedestrian bridge not far from his home in St. Jamestown.
Toronto police say while Sheppard was known to them, basketball had turned his life around. They say they have no reason to suspect that his death was in any way connected to drug or gang activity. Sheppard was the half-brother of NBA player Jamaal Magloire, a star with the NBA Charlotte Hornets.
On early Sunday morning there was another unrelated killing. Twenty-three-year-old Benny Kenneth Cloutier was shot near River and Gerrard streets. The killing may be related to drugs.
Later, on Sunday night, a backyard party in Scarborough turned ugly and a man was shot to death. Police have no motive and have yet to release any names in that shooting.