Police ID man fatally shot in SUV outside North York apartment building

A man is dead after he was shot while in a vehicle outside a North York apartment building early Tuesday morning.

Lawrence Errol Joel John, 28, was pronounced dead in the San Romanoway and Jane Street area

Lawrence Errol Joel John, 28, died after he was shot multiple times in a dark-coloured SUV outside a North York apartment building early Tuesday. (Toronto Police Service)

Police have identified a 28-year-old man who was fatally shot while in a vehicle outside a North York apartment building early Tuesday morning as Lawrence Errol Joel John. 

Emergency crews were called to San Romanoway, in the Finch Avenue West and Jane Street area, shortly before 6:30 a.m. for reports that multiple gunshots had been heard, Toronto police Const. David Hopkinson told CBC Toronto.

Investigators determined that John and a female passenger were in a dark-coloured SUV outside the building when they were approached by a group of people who fired at them, according to a news release.

John was shot several times and was pronounced dead at the scene. 

A vehicle sits outside an apartment building on San Romanoway in North York early Tuesday following a fatal shooting. (Paul Smith/CBC)

Hopkinson said a number of suspects fled the area, according to witnesses, though he did not have descriptions for them.

Pictures from the scene showed a Mazda SUV sitting in a driveway outside an apartment building with the front driver's-side window apparently shot out, with shattered glass all over the ground.

5 shootings took place Tuesday

This was one of five shootings in the city Tuesday. 

A man was shot multiple times around 1:30 a.m. in Scarborough, in the Crittenden Square and Crow Trail area — nearly five hours before John was gunned down 

Investigators canvas the area for bullet casings Tuesday morning after a man was seriously injured in a shooting at Bathurst Street and Vaughan Road. (Turgut Yeter/CBC)

Around 10 a.m., Hopkinson said witnesses reported hearing several gunshots fired in a Midtown laneway, in the area of Bathurst Street and St. Clair Avenue West. A man was taken to hospital in serious but non-life-threatening condition, according to police. 

A suspect was arrested in relation to another shooting that seriously injured a male teen around 4:30 p.m. in North York. Investigators are still looking for a second suspect, believed to be armed and dangerous, Hopkinson told CBC Toronto. 

Nearly four hours later, a man was rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition following a shooting in north Toronto, in the area of Keele Street and Ingram Drive. 

Toronto's 94th homicide

John's death marked Toronto's 94th homicide in 2018 amid a spike in gun violence in the country's largest city. 

Last month, Toronto exceeded its homicide record that stood unbroken for nearly three decades. 

The previous record for the most homicides in a single year was 89 set in 1991.

Police statistics show a rise in gun-related killings — accounting for more than half of all slayings so far this year. 

While officers have seized more guns off the streets than ever before, close to 900 firearms so far this year, the "shootings keep happening," Acting Insp. Hank Idsinga of Toronto police's homicide unit said last month. 

Two people were killed and several others wounded in a mass shooting along Danforth Avenue on July 22. (Cole Burston/AFP/Getty Images)

This year was marred by a number of high-profile shootings. Among those that made international headlines were a shooting rampage on Danforth Avenue and a brazen drive-by shooting of two young men with ties to the city's hip-hop scene in the entertainment district.

Toronto remains a relatively safe city in terms of violent crime rates, however, but gun violence and its root causes are hot-button political issues. 

Mayor John Tory has endorsed a complete ban on handguns within city limits, while both the province and Ottawa have contributed new funding for youth programming aimed at providing opportunities to especially vulnerable young people.