Riverdale shooting that killed grandmother was planned, but she wasn't the intended target, police say
No security guard from TCH present in the neighbourhood at the time of the shooting, CBC News learns
Toronto police say they believe a shooting that left a grandmother dead in a Riverdale community housing complex on Saturday was targeted, but that the 61-year-old woman wasn't the person the gunmen wanted to kill.
Police originally said Peggy Ann Smith was found with an apparent gunshot wound in an alleyway behind a home near Don Mount Court and Kintyre Avenue shortly after 6:15 p.m. on Saturday and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Speaking near the Smith family's home on Tuesday, homicide Det. David Dickinson told reporters Smith was found on the steps of her family's home. At least ten shots were fired in the incident, he said.
Dickinson said police are seeking two suspects and have released some surveillance footage that captures the men approaching the scene.
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Dickinson described one suspect as a male with a brown complexion in his twenties, approximately 5'6 tall with an average build. The man has a full beard and was wearing dark pants, a grey hoodie with the hood up and black cap at the time, the detective said.
The second suspect is described as black, of Somali descent in his late teens or early twenties, approximately 5'11 with a skinny build. Dickinson said he he was wearing dark pants and a grey hoodie with hood up at the time. The hoodie may also have have had dark band on it running horizontally.
In the video, the two men are seen calmly walking southbound toward the alleyway before fleeing northbound moments later. The two were last seen running on Hamilton Street, near Dundas, Dickinson said.
Dicksinson said a group of men who were also in the alleyway at the time were likely the intended targets, but police haven't been able to speak to all of the men as yet.
Police looking into whether recent violence is linked
Ward 30 city counsellor Paula Fletcher told CBC News on Monday that she wants to see the city step in to determine what's behind a spate of shootings in the area in recent months, adding that she is concerned about the presence of gangs and guns in the neighbourhood.
"I'm aware of all the incidents that have taken place in the last several months," Dickinson told reporters on Tuesday, adding that police are looking into whether any of those incidents have links to one another.
CBC News learned Monday that there was no security guard from Toronto Community Housing present in the neighbourhood at the time of the shooting.
A third-party security guard hired by the corporation to patrol the area for several hours a day was away for at least a few weeks, including on Saturday, because of what spokesperson Lisa Murray called resource constraints.
The guard was reinstated following the shooting after community residents raised concerns about security in the area.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Toronto police's homicide unit at (416) 808-7400 or 55 Division at (416) 808-5500, or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477).