Canada-wide warrant issued for man, 24, identified in point-blank shooting of Hamilton father
Akil Whyte, wanted for trafficking cocaine, is charged with first-degree murder
Homicide detectives have issued a Canada-wide warrant for a Toronto man, 24, identified in the point-blank shooting that led to the death of a man in a parking lot near Dufferin Street and Eglinton Avenue West last April.
Akil Whyte is charged with first-degree murder of Leonard Pinnock, Det. Sgt. Joyce Schertzer said during a news conference Monday.
Pinnock, a 33-year-old from Hamilton, was sitting in his car waiting for a friend in a parking lot at a strip mall on the night of April 21 when two suspects fired multiple shots into the driver's window.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Surveillance video shows two suspects in hooded jackets approach the car from the front and back and fire several shots in the span of about 17 seconds before running away.
Whyte was wearing a light-coloured hoodie in the video and fired the first shot, according to Schertzer,
The footage, along with tips from community members helped investigators identify Whyte, she said, adding that he is considered to be armed and "extremely dangerous."
Whyte was known to police prior to the shooting and is wanted for trafficking cocaine, said Schertzer. He is also charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence based on "Project Kronic" — a year-long investigation that targeted the Driftwood Crips gang and their associates and led to 660 charges being laid.
Schertzer would not confirm if Whyte is a member of Driftwood Crips — a Toronto-based street gang modelled after one from Los Angeles.
"Akil, if you are listening to this broadcast, I urge you to speak to someone you trust, hire competent counsel and turn yourself in immediately," said Schertzer.
"Every police officer in the city of Toronto has your photograph and it's only a matter of time before you're apprehended."
Schertzer explained that there's nothing in Pinnock's background to suggest a motive for the shooting. She maintains the shooting appears to be a "random attack."
She wouldn't clarify if Pinnock's friend knew Whyte.
Police are still searching for the second suspect, who they haven't been able to identify at this time.
"If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Akil Whyte, I ask that they contact police immediately," said Schertzer.