A 31-year-old Toronto teacher who died in a triple shooting in Lawrence Heights earlier today, was slain in the same neighbourhood where he grew up and eventually taught.
The shooting occurred just after midnight Tuesday on Flemington Road, near Lawrence Avenue West and Allen Road, according to police.
Paramedics treated the fatally wounded teacher, as well as a 22-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman for multiple gunshot wounds as they were lying at the front steps of a four-storey apartment building and distraught residents looked on.
The three were taken to a trauma centre, where Abshir Hassan later died. The other two people are listed in serious but non-life-threatening condition.
Hassan had spent time as an occasional teacher and supply teacher at various Toronto public schools, including at Lawrence Heights Middle School.
That school's principal, David deBelle, fought back tears after he described Hassan's impact on his students to reporters.
"He was beloved by all the students and the parents," deBelle said.
DeBelle said that Hassan had grown up in Lawrence Heights, which gave him an appreciation for the challenges that students living there face.
'A very brazen, cowardly act'
Earlier in the day, Toronto police Insp. Tim Crone spoke to the media about the investigation into the shooting that had claimed Hassan's life hours before.
"This is a very brazen, cowardly act to a community that has made great strides in the last few years to bring a sense of calm and safety to the area," Crone said at a news conference Tuesday morning.
"This is very, very disturbing, obviously. We want to obviously find those that are involved and get this investigation well underway."
Police said shots were fired at close range after a vehicle pulled up just outside 11 Flemington Road at around 12:15 a.m. ET. Each person hit by the gunfire suffered multiple wounds.
Crone said it is not yet clear how many people were involved in the shooting.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact investigators or call Crime Stoppers.