A spate of shootings in the city's northwest end that sent two teens to hospital on Monday with serious injuries, were connected, CBC Toronto has learned.
Sources say the four gunmen who opened fire in Rexdale Monday evening did so in retaliation for an earlier shooting that same day at Yorkgate Mall.
Police were called to the mall in the Jane Street and Finch Avenue West area just before 4 p.m. Monday. That's where they found a boy in his early teens shot in the abdomen. He was then rushed to hospital in serious but stable condition.
- Gunmen who shot 15-year-old targeted 'innocent people' at random, police say
Less than three hours later, shots rang out in Rexdale in the Jamestown Crescent and John Garland Boulevard area.
Police were called to the area around 7:45 p.m. after a man was shot at from a distance of approximately 25 feet, police said in a release Thursday. The man managed to escape injury, running north.
The shooters then returned to their vehicle and continued west along Jamestown Crescent before police say the front and side passengers climbed up and out of a window, leaned across the roof of the vehicle and opened fire.
A 15-year-old, who police say was hiding in the doorway of a townhouse with his younger sister, was shot in the lower abdomen. That teen was rushed to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, and is now recovering in hospital.
While sources reveal the Rexdale shootings were retaliatory, the victims themselves appear to have been shot at random.
Supt. Ron Taverner said the shooters trained their guns on whomever happened to be passing by.
"It's a very violent act; total disregard for people's lives. It obviously could've been worse," Taverner said.
"There could've been a number of people shot and killed — innocent people just going about their day."
The suspect vehicle in the Rexdale shooting is described as a black 2010-12 Chrysler 300 with horizontal chrome rub rails, silver rims and tinted windows. No suspects have yet been identified.
Police are now appealing to a tow truck driver who was parked during the shooting to come forward and speak to investigators.
Police are also looking for an "older male" in connection with the earlier Yorkgate Mall shooting. That suspect is described as black, wearing dark jeans and a dark jacket, and is believed to have driven off in a dark red or black car.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (416) 808-2300 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at (416) 222-TIPS (8477).