Toronto·Video

Downtown shooting victim targeted by attacker, Toronto police say

Police say the Toronto man who died Friday afternoon in a drive-by shooting had been "targeted" by his attacker and authorities are appealing for witnesses to come forward with information.

Joel Alexander, 28, identified as homicide victim

Det.-Sgt. Terry Browne says witnesses are asked to come forward after a 28-year-old man was killed in Toronto. 0:50

Police say the Toronto man who died Friday afternoon in a drive-by shooting had been "targeted" by his attacker and authorities are appealing for witnesses to come forward with information.

Joel Alexander, 28, had been initially listed in critical condition, but he later succumbed to his injuries, Det.-Sgt. Terry Browne told reporters. The Toronto man was a father of a five-year-old child and was known to police, Browne added.

The attack was unlikely to be a random event, Browne said. The Toronto man had parked just a few minutes before so the shooter had either been following him or knew where Alexander was going, the detective-sergeant explained.

Joel Alexander, 28, was fatally shot Friday on Peter Street near King Street West in Toronto. (Contributed: Toronto Police Services)

"We don't know what the motive is," Browne said. "But I can certainly say as an investigator that there's no doubt in my mind that whoever did this to Mr. Alexander was certainly looking for him."

He wouldn't elaborate on exactly what that meant, nor would Browne say whether the shooting was connected to any gangs in the Greater Toronto Area.

Witnesses told police Friday afternoon that they saw a silver compact car with tinted windows pull alongside another vehicle parked at Peter Street just north of King around 4 p.m., after which multiple shots were fired.

The parked car could later be seen at King Street West near Peter Street with bullet holes puncturing the driver's side door and window.

Det.-Sgt. Terry Browne says police are asking anyone who may have seen the shooting or vehicle to come forward. (CBC)
A woman had also been in the car with Alexander, but she escaped from the shooting without any injuries.

"She of course is extremely emotionally scarred," Browne said. "She's physically well … but she's in a great state of shock."

Police continued searching the crime scene Saturday and had begun looking through security camera footage that caught "portions of" the shooting, Browne told reporters.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.
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