Zaher Noureddine, 25, dead after 'brazen robbery' outside midtown restaurant
Victim Zaher Noureddine was originally from Ottawa
Police are searching for clues after a man was killed during a violent robbery Tuesday night outside a restaurant on Yonge Street at Lola Road.
Zaher Noureddine, 25, a Torontonian originally from Ottawa, was killed in the attack, police said.
The incident happened just after midnight outside the St. Louis Bar and Grill at 2050 Yonge St., just south of Eglinton Avenue.
Noureddine was leaving a nearby bar at the time when an altercation took place between a group of men and another group with Noureddine.
Police say they are searching for three suspects who were wearing dark-coloured clothing and who fled the area in a light-coloured four-door sedan.
"I believe it was a very brazen robbery," homicide Det. Jeff Allington told reporters near the crime scene, adding that while the incident was random, it appears Noureddine was selected by the attackers over others walking in the area.
"I would certainly say he was targeted and the people who robbed him chose him," Allington said.
The 25-year-old victim was taken to the Sunnybrook trauma centre. Just after noon, police said that he had died and that the case is now being investigated as a homicide.
Allington said the cause of death is unclear at this time.
Police are conducting an extensive door-to-door canvas in the area, and are asking anyone who may have surveillance cameras facing the Yonge Street and Lola Road intersection to contact them.
They are also looking for surveillance footage from anyone on Soudan Avenue, Hillsdale Avenue, Manor Road between Bayview Avenue and Yonge Street or on Cleveland Street between Hillsdale Avenue and Eglinton Avenue.
Allington added that 53 Major Crimes unit is investigating another similar incident in the area but indicated that there is no clear evidence at this time that the incidents are linked.
Those who knew Noureddine expressed sadness upon hearing of his death.
Joe Banks is a professor at Algonquin College where Noureddine studied journalism.
"Zach was a kind-hearted guy who loved photography and hip hop music," Banks said. "He was a likeable young man whose loss will be felt by his former classmates. We mourn his loss and offer our thoughts and prayers to his family at this awful time."
Music manager Anthony Di Nardo became friends with Noureddine after the journalism student interviewed one of his clients.
"He was a great man, always willing to help out in any way he could. He was constantly working, always trying to get further in his career and even when he had down time. You could see all he was thinking about was new plans and what he could do next. He definitely lived life to the fullest," Di Nardo said.
Yonge/Lola assault now a homicide. Man, 25 succumbed to violent robbery. News release to follow. cc:<a href="https://twitter.com/TPSOperations">@TPSOperations</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TPSHomicide">@TPSHomicide</a> ^vk—@TorontoPolice