Toronto

'Our children are dying': Regent Park mourns death of boy, 15, killed in shooting

Toronto police have identified a 15-year-old boy shot dead in Regent Park on Tuesday afternoon.

Mackai Bishop Jackson of Toronto was fatally shot inside an apartment building on Tuesday

Mackai Bishop Jackson, 15, was shot to death inside a Regent Park apartment building on Tuesday afternoon. He is Toronto's 81st homicide victim of the year. (Toronto Police Service)

Regent Park continues to mourn after Toronto police identified a 15-year-old boy shot dead in the neighbourhood Tuesday afternoon.

Mackai Bishop Jackson, of Toronto, was found inside an apartment unit at 230 Sackville St., near Dundas Street East and Parliament Street. Police were called to the scene at 4:21 p.m.

"Responding officers located a boy in medical distress with obvious trauma," police said in a news release on Wednesday.

The teen was pronounced dead at the scene. Homicide detectives have taken over the case.

A makeshift memorial for Mackai Bishop Jackson is growing outside the apartment building in which he was shot to death. (Meagan Fitzpatrick/CBC)

Some Regent Park parents have expressed concern about the local community centre being used as a shelter by those affected by the Parliament Street fire for over a month. They say if it were open, things may have turned out differently.  

"Our community centre is not a shelter. It's for our children to be able to go in there and be helped," local mother Sabila Mohamed told the media on Wednesday.

"If the kids had a place to go, they wouldn't be going home. They would be going to a community centre."

The city announced later on Wednesday that the Regent Park Community Centre would reopen to the public with regularly scheduled programs and permits on Monday. 

'I was beside myself'

Mohamed said Jackson died in her house. She wasn't home at the time, but her son, who was good friends with Jackson, was sick and at home Tuesday.

"I just got a call. My daughter calling me, 'Mom, come home. Something happened,'" she recalled. "I was beside myself. Then I hear somebody died."

Const. Caroline de Kloet, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, said detectives are trying to determine what happened immediately before the shooting. 

Local mother Sabila Mohamed says Mackai Bishop Jackson, 16, died in her home. 0:29

Mohamed says her son is not well after the incident. She is now stressing the need for counselling and says that the parents in Regent Park need help.

"Our children are dying every single day. What is the city doing about it?" she asked.

"Nobody is doing anything about it. A young boy died. Nobody is giving us any counselling — nothing."

Photos of the teen are starting to fill a memorial for him. (Meagan Fitzpatrick/CBC)

Coun. Lucy Troisi told the media just hours before it was announced that it would be reopening that neighbourhood access to the community centre needed to be restored and that she has been pushing every day for it to be operational again.

Troisi added that she hasn't reached out to the family yet, choosing to give the family time to grieve.

​Coun. Lucy Troisi say she believes the local community centre will be available to the neighbourhood once again very soon. (CBC)

"I can't even imagine what this family is going through. All I could do is provide support," she said.

"Let them know that I'm trying my best to make sure our neighbourhood becomes a safe place for everyone again."

No suspect information is available in relation to Tuesday's shooting.

The shooting occurred inside this apartment building in Regent Park. (Susan Reid/CBC)

Police say officers are talking to witnesses, canvassing the building for security camera video and searching the area for evidence.

Jackson is Toronto's 81st homicide victim of the year.

A post-mortem will be conducted this week to determine the cause of death.

With files from Ali Chaisson