Police release video of suspect vehicle in Toronto homicide
Surendra Vaithilingam, 38, shot dead while laying bricks for son's birthday party
Three weeks after the afternoon slaying of a Scarborough father working in his backyard, homicide investigators have released more video of the suspected gunman's car passing by the victim as he carts away bricks on his driveway.
The footage, which was taken from neighbours' security cameras and released as four different clips, shows a dark four-door sedan, possibly a 1999-2003 Mazda Protegé, rolling past 38-year-old Surendra Vaithilingam's suburban house in a tree-lined neighbourhood around 3 p.m.
"If you look at clip one, you'll see Surendra on his front lawn loading up the interlocking bricks that he had come home from work that day to lay in his own backyard, in preparation for his son's birthday party that following weekend," Det. Justin Vander Heyden told reporters today as the video played on a loop beside him.
The passengers in the vehicle, he added, have "a very clear opportunity to observe Surendra" as the father of three is seen at the top of the screen bending down next to a palette of paving stones at his Mantis Road residence, near Morningside Avenue and Finch Avenue East.
"It's for this reason that I believe that Surendra's murder was not a mistake, and I believe that the persons involved and responsible for this murder planned this and were in the area for approximately 10 minutes beforehand."
A licence plate number for the vehicle could not be seen in the footage.
Vander Heyden said police were releasing the clips in the hopes that it might jog some memories or prompt more tips from neighbours who saw the car.
Although investigators say it was a planned hit, they still have no clear idea why Vaithilingam, described as a hardworking family man, might have enemies who would want to do him harm.
In a previous police update, investigators showed images of three men walking "right past half a dozen residential cameras" towards Vaithilingam's backyard in broad daylight. They re-emerge after a single shot was fired and run down a laneway to their vehicle.
"I believe that they had driven in the area in an attempt to locate Mr. Vaithilingam, and at one section in clip number one, they actually observed him on his front driveway," he said. "They then parked the vehicle the next block over and walked to his house on foot, then fled back to that vehicle."
Analyzing video from schools, businesses
The four video clips of the car have been uploaded to the Toronto Police Service YouTube page.
Investigators are looking for three suspects.
The first suspect is described as a black male, five-foot-four to five-foot-six, with a dark complexion and a ponytail on the top of his head and who speaks with a heavy Jamaican accent.
The second is a black male, five-foot-four with a dark complexion. He wore dark clothing.
The third is described as a brown male, with a light complexion and straight dark hair.
Police are continuing to examine hours of video from area high schools and businesses for more clues. In the meantime, anyone with tips is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers or Vander Heyden at 416-808-7397.