Family of man killed in police raid 'hopeless'

A man was shot and killed in a confrontation with Toronto police in the city's west end early Wednesday morning, the province's Special Investigations Unit has confirmed.

The family of a man who was shot and killed in a confrontation with Toronto police in the city's west end early Wednesday morning are "distraught" and "hopeless," says a friend of the victim.

The shooting happened at an apartment at 11 Dunbloor Rd., near Bloor Street West and Kipling Avenue in Etobicoke, at about 1 a.m.

The victim was rushed to St. Michael's Hospital but died of his injuries. He was later identified by his friend Antonius Clarke as 26-year-old Eric Osawe.

The province's Special Investigations Unit, which has taken over the probe, said the shooting occurred as Toronto police were executing a search warrant at a third-floor apartment in the condominium building when the shooting occurred.

The SIU, a civilian agency, is called in any time a civilian is killed or seriously injured during a police operation.

Another man was seen being led from the building in handcuffs after the shooting.

Police later identified the man as Ebony Osawe, 23 — Eric's younger brother. He was arrested and charged in connection with the execution of the search warrant, not the shooting of his brother.

Ebony Osawe has been charged with:

  • Possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition.
  • Careless storage of a firearm.
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm.
  • Careless storage of ammunition.
  • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Victim was 'a good person'

Clarke, who is acting as a spokesman for the Osawe family, says the victim's relatives are devastated.

"They've lost their son — their eldest son. They're distraught, they're broken, they're hopeless," he said.  

Clarke grew up with Osawe in the Jane and Finch area. He said Osawe had spent some time in jail after high school, but was trying to clean up his act,

"He was a good person to my understanding and he was very cheerful and very strong ," Clarke said.

Clarke, who is running for city council in Ward 8, said Osawe's death highlights a wrong that needs to be addressed.

"How many people in Jane and Finch have been in trouble in the past?," Osawe said. 

"I mean, just because I've been in trouble in the past does that mean the next time the police come to my house I should expect a bullet? It's not right."

The SIU says at least 15 officers were involved in the raid on the apartment, although only one is the target of its investigation.

The agency is not releasing any further details, including the identity of the officer under investigation. 

The management of the building told CBC News the brothers in the apartment had been in the building for about a year. A post-mortem examination on Osawe's body is expected to take place Thursday.