Toronto

Man charged in deadly Chinatown shooting sentenced to life without parole for 22 years

Kyle Sparks MacKinnon, who was charged in a deadly Chinatown shooting in 2016, was on Monday sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 22 years.

Kyle Sparks MacKinnon was found guilty of 2nd-degree murder in 2016 shooting that left 2 dead and 2 wounded

The fatal shooting occurred in the early morning hours of Jan. 31, 2016, on Spadina Avenue in Chinatown. (Andrew Collins/CBC)

Kyle Sparks MacKinnon, who was charged in a deadly Chinatown shooting in 2016, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday with no parole eligibility for 22 years.

"The circumstances surrounding the murders committed by Mr.Sparks MacKinnon are chilling," Superior Court Justice Ian MacDonnell told a packed courtroom at the sentencing. 

"The suddenness in which he opened fire on two defenceless strangers, intending to kill them, simply because they were in the company of someone he and his companions found irritating, is shocking."

Sparks MacKinnon, 29, and his half brother Jahmal Richardson each faced trial for two counts of second-degree murder and aggravated assault, and one count of attempted murder.

They were accused of unleashing a hail of bullets outside New Ho King restaurant on Jan. 31, 2016.

David Eminess, 26, a father, was one of the victims killed. He was shot in the back of the head. (Submitted)

Two young fathers, David Eminess 26, and Quinn Taylor 29, were both killed in the shooting, and three other people wounded.

Stewart Douglas, who was walking with Eminess and Taylor on Spadina Avenue, testified Richardson shot him in the head after he asked for directions to an after-hours club.  Miraculously, he survived the attack. But Douglas,who suffers from mental illness gave conflicting evidence at trial.

In January this year, a jury acquitted Richardson on all charges. 

However, the jury found Sparks MacKinnon  guilty on two counts of second-degree murder and aggravated assault.  

Quinn Taylor, 29, was a father, who was left dying in front of a restaurant doorway after being shot multiple times on Spadina Ave during the shooting on Jan. 31, 2016. (Submitted)

Justice MacDonnell said Sparks MacKinnon was carrying a loaded .40 calibre handgun on the night of the shooting while under three separate court imposed weapon bans.

"In the 10 years leading up to the murders...he had been convicted of 25 criminal offences, almost all of which involved violence, firearms, or disobedience to court orders," MacDonnell said.

Eminess left behind a four-year old daughter. He had left the family home in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad, to seek a better life in Toronto.

Taylor was aboriginal and the father of a young daughter. Today, members of his community filled the courtroom to support his grieving mother.

Brenda MacIntyre held a healing drumming ceremony for her son outside the courthouse, at the Peace Garden in Nathan Phillips Square. "I am very happy with the sentence," she said after the ceremony.

Brenda MacIntyre holds a traditional drumming ceremony at the Peace Garden at Nathan Phillip Square, close to the courthouse where Kyle Sparks MacKinnon was sentenced to life for murdering her aboriginal son, Quinn Taylor. (Jasmin Seputis/CBC)

 MacIntyre offered tobacco in gratitude to her supporters and her son Quinn in aboriginal tradition. 

"It's been a nightmare... but at least now this is over... and that guy is not getting out for a long...time. He cannot hurt any more people out here," MacIntyre said through tears. "It's ridiculous, it's awful how many people are getting shot killed in Toronto, in our country." 

"[Quinn] had a great sense of humour... and he was really talented with music."   

Members of the aboriginal community attend a ceremony to honour victim Quinn Taylor after the sentencing of Kyle Sparks MacKinnon on June 10, 2019. (Jasmin Seputis/CBC)

McDonnell told the court the loss of Taylor and Eminess is "an important reminder that those men were not just names in an indictment, they were loved and loving sons, fathers, brothers and friends."

Sparks MacKinnon showed little emotion during his sentencing. He blew kisses to two women in the courtroom as he was led away in handcuffs.