Police canvass Lawrence Heights area after recent gun violence

Toronto police spent the afternoon speaking with residents in Lawrence Heights Saturday after a recent spat of gun violence in the area.

Multiple shootings have occurred around TCHC building on Bagot Court since last December

Police spent several hours going door-to-door canvassing Saturday. They were speaking with residents about a recent spike in violence in the Lawrence Heights area. (Alison Chiasson/CBC)

Toronto police spent Saturday afternoon speaking with residents in the Lawrence Heights community after a recent spat of gun violence in the area.

About 12 officers with 32 Division and Toronto Community Housing went door-to-door canvassing from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. They were providing safety tips and outlining how people in the area can provide information to police or to Crime Stoppers. 

Investigators also set up a checkpoint at the intersection of Bagot Court and Varna Drive to answer questions from residents.

Police are currently investigating five separate shootings that occurred in the area around the TCHC building on Bagot Court since last month.

On Dec. 22, 2015, a man was shot in the leg after a confrontation on the front steps of his home on Bagot Court. Several weeks later on Jan. 6, police say a man drove by a residence on nearby Neptune Drive, firing five shots into a unit. No one was home at the time.

A third shooting was reported to police on Jan 13. Witnesses told police that two vehicles exchanged gunfire on Allen Road in broad daylight. Hours later, a man was shot in the foot at a bus stop in the area. 

The most recent shooting occurred on Jan. 20. According to police, a car pulled up behind a second vehicle on Varna Drive and fired three shots at its occupants. No one was injured in the incident.

Investigators told CBC News they hope that residents may provide information that could help in the ongoing investigations.

"We're telling them why we're here and we're giving them the option of phoning us later, speaking to a detective over the phone," said Det.-Sgt. Sean Brosnan.

"We'll meet them outside of this area if they want."


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