Toronto police seek woman, witnesses to rapper's slaying

Toronto homicide detectives say they're ready to lay murder charges in one of the city's most recent homicides, but they need witnesses to come forward and identify the suspects.

'She's either with them or against them'

Camera captures image of woman police want to speak with. 0:17

TIMELINE: Anthony Spencer shooting

Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012

12:42 a.m. Two males and one female arrive in a cab at 799 Brimley Road. They get out of the cab and enter the underground recording studio located at the same address.

1:44 a.m. The same female who arrived in the cab is seen walking up stairs to use a cellphone outside of the studio. After doing so, she returns to the studio.

2:27 a.m. The female comes back out of the studio, stands at the top of the stairs and looks around.

4:32 a.m. The female makes a call to a cab company, requesting its presence at the Omni convenience store, which is in the same plaza as the recording studio. Before the cab dispatcher starts speaking to the female, a shot can be heard in the background. Soon after, the female and the same two males are seen leaving the studio and getting into a cab that is parked outside the studio.

5 a.m. Police are called to Scarborough General Hospital, where Anthony Spencer, 23, has just been dropped off by a group of people. He dies shortly thereafter. The people who brought Spencer to the hospital leave before speaking with police. Within hours, police name Spencer as the victim of a homicide.

Police call on the people who went to the hospital to contact investigators.

Toronto homicide detectives say they are ready to lay murder charges in connection with one of the city's most recent homicides, but they need witnesses to come forward.

Anthony Spencer was shot inside a Scarborough recording studio near Brimley Road and Lawrence Avenue East, in the early morning hours of Saturday, Jan. 21.

He was taken to Scarborough General Hospital by a number of people and left there.  Police said Tuesday they need those witnesses to tell them what they know.

Investigators believe they have the men responsible for the shooting of Spencer — but say they need witnesses to come forward and identify the suspects. 

"Two persons of interest in this homicide have been arrested in the past week," said Det. Sgt. Gary Giroux.  

Police also want to know the identity of a woman whose image was captured on security camera images at the strip mall where Spencer ran the recording studio.

The woman, who arrived and left with the shooting suspects, "has a difficult choice to make," said Giroux.  "She's either with them or against them.  And my advice ... is for her to get a lawyer and come forward and speak to us with regards to what happened."

She is described as:

  • Black, with a light skin complexion.
  • Five feet tall with a petite build, weighing approximately 100 pounds.
  • Her hair was in a ponytail.
  • She was carrying a large shoulder bag and wearing a jacket and hooded sweatshirt.

Police released a video and a still image showing the woman.  They also released an audio recording of a call she placed to a taxi company. 

The call captures the sound of the shot that killed the aspiring 23-year-old rapper.

The woman’s name heard on the recording is "Ashley" but police say they do not know if this is the woman's real name.

Giroux said homicide investigators are ready to lay murder charges but they need "the friends and associates of Anthony Spencer to come forward to assist in witness identification."

"I do need witnesses to come forward.  We've done our part and now I expect them to do their part." 

Supt. Kathryn Martin also revealed that the killing of Spencer and three drive-by shootings in the Malvern area of Scarborough were related, but did not provide any further details.

A Toronto police cruiser sits outside the building on Brimley Road where investigators say Anthony Spencer was shot. (CBC)