Toronto police say a 64-year-old grandfather who worked as a gardener opened his door on Tuesday night and was gunned down by assailants who fled to a "soccer mom" minivan to make their getaway.
Det.-Sgt. Pauline Gray said that police were called to a home at 436 Symington Ave., near Lansdowne Avenue and Dupont Road, at about 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday.
Ngoc Ngo, 64, had been shot multiple times.
"Mr. Ngo was pronounced dead at the scene," she told reporters during a Thursday morning news conference.
"An autopsy later performed found the cause of death to be multiple gunshot wounds to the body."
The victim’s wife and another relative were home at the time of the killing.
The shots "sprayed everywhere," Gray said, noting that the people involved in the killing had "no regard" for whether their actions would harm others in the home.
"Pretty dangerous fellas out there," she said.
Gray said that witnesses saw a group of males running from the home immediately after the shooting. They got into a black, or dark-coloured minivan that was parked on the northwest corner of Kingsley and Perth avenues.
Gray said the minivan had a single, large rear window.
"One of my witnesses describes it as a soccer mom van, if that helps," Gray said.
One of those suspects was a 5'8" white male with a heavy build who wore baggy blue jeans. He had brown hair and is believed to be in his early 20s.
Gray is asking for the public’s help to find this individual, who was driving the minivan when the suspects fled the scene.
They are also trying to track down the van and the other people who were inside it.
'Two operating theories'
Gray said she did not believe the killing was random, though she finds it unlikely that the victim "could have crossed paths with anyone who could perceive him as a threat."
The detective said she has "two operating theories," one of which is that someone shot the victim over "some perceived injustice by a 64-year-old gardener."
The second theory is that the victim was shot in a case of mistaken identity.
Gray said she is not aware of the victim having a criminal record or being known to police.
She said the victim had a small, but successful business. He had lived in his home for 18 years.
Gray said the killing has shaken the local community.
Steve Fernandes lived next door to Ngo for more than 10 years.
He said he and his neighbours have been taken aback by what happened to Ngo.
"People are pretty surprised, shocked," he said.
Daniel Arruda, who has lived in the area for 10 years, said that Symington Avenue is a quiet street.
Hearing the events described by police have left Arruda puzzled as to how a man in his 60s would be a target of violence.
"I can’t see a 65-year-old guy causing problems for someone to come shoot him," Arruda said.
The victim’s family is still coming to grips with what happened.
"They are in a state of disbelief, I suspect that’s the best I can describe it," Gray said, when asked how the family is doing. "They really are at a loss to explain any of it."
Police have obtained video surveillance from nearby homes and businesses that is now being reviewed.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Gray at 416-808-7400, ext. 77412.
Police broadcast the news conference on YouTube. The video of that news conference can be seen below.