Toronto Block Party Shooting Aftermath


In Toronto this week, a block party... a BBQ meant to bring a community together instead ends up tearing lives apart. A 14 year old girl, ShyAnne Charles, she just finished grade 9, her friends talk about how she was overflowing with positivty. A 23 year old young man, Josh Yasay, he'd just started a barbershop with a friend in Ajax, coached underprivileged youth. Two young people, innocently attending a community gathering, lives ended in an instant, 2 out of 25 hit by gunfire after a fight broke out on a hot summer's eve.

Today's guest host was Mike Finnerty.

Part One of The Current


It's Wednesday July 18th.

Senator Patrick Brazeau is back on Twitter with a promise to "be nice from now on," a little more than two weeks after he insulted a journalist for reporting on his attendance record.

Senator Brazeau was nowhere to be found when sought for further comment.

This Is The Current.

Toronto Block Party Shooting Aftermath - Alan Dudeck

We started this segment with a clip from Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair and the crime he is talking about happened Monday night, at a block party in the east end of Toronto. Police say they think two men got into a fight and then started firing at each other through a crowd of somewhere between 100 and 200 people. By the time it was over, 23 people were wounded and two more were dead. That's either 1 in 8, or 1 in 4 of those in attendance hit by gunfire.

In east-end Toronto, just around the corner from where the shootings happened, people are rattled, many angry. The Current visited a neighbourhood pool, laundry mat and a convenience store to see how the residents- particularly parents - were making sense of the violence.

Even before this incident, there had been other brazen shootings this summer in a packed food court in the Eaton Centre, on a crowded patio in the city's west end, and after a fireworks display in the east end. According to police statistics, the number of shootings so far this year is up more than 50 per cent from this time last year ... though it is roughly on par with the number of shootings in 2008 and 2009 ... and hasn't reached the number of shooting deaths during the so-called Summer Of The Gun in 2005, when 52 people were shot-to-death, half of them between Victoria Day and Labour Day.

Alan Dudeck knows the heartbreak of losing a child to gun violence. In the early hours of June 13th, 2008, his stepson Oliver Martin and his friend Dylan Ellis were shot to death in Toronto. It is a crime that still has not been solved. Alan Dudeck lives in Toronto but this morning he was just outside Charlottetown, PEI.

Toronto Block Party Shooting Aftermath - Toronto Police Services Board

Alok Mukherjee is the Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, the civilian body that oversees the Toronto Police. He was in our Toronto studio.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal, Shannon Higgins, Jenna Cameron and Pacinthe Mattar.

Other segment from today's show:

The Art of War (Doc Repeat)
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