Toronto

Toronto police charge 'evil' man with 4 killings

A Toronto man charged with dozens of violent crimes, including the shooting deaths of four people, was "laughing" when he heard the news, says his lawyer.

Accused laughed when he heard about charges, lawyer says

The lawyer for a Toronto man accused of 4 killings speaks to reporters. 6:21

A Toronto man charged with dozens of violent crimes, including the shooting deaths of four people, was "laughing" when he heard the news, says his lawyer.

Mark Garfield Moore, 27, was charged on Wednesday with the homicides and dozens of other offences committed within a few months in the second half of 2010, including armed robbery, attempted murder and a number of counts related to drive-by shootings. 

In two instances, Moore allegedly discharged gunshots in two separate schoolyards.

Mark Garfield Moore, 27, has been in custody since March, when he was arrested in connection to a nightclub shooting. ((Toronto Police Service))

A total of 54 charges were filed against Moore, including four counts of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting deaths of four men between September and November 2010:

  • Jahmeel Spence, 27, gunned down on Sept. 10 in a laneway on Greenbrae Circuit in the city's east end.
  • Mike James, 23, and Courthney Facey, 18, targeted in a laneway in the Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue area in an apparent drive-by shooting on Sept.  29.
  • Carl Cole, 45, shot repeatedly in a parking lot behind an apartment building on Greenbrae Circuit on Nov. 24.

Moore appeared in court in Toronto on Wednesday, and has been remanded until Nov. 21. His lawyer, Cheryl Anne Robb, told CBC News she had never encountered a situation where four unsolved homicides were charged to one person.

When asked about her client's reaction to the news he was charged, Robb replied: "He said, 'I'm laughing.'"

"[Police] have searched his motor vehicle over the last period of six months several times, and so he knows they've been interested in something. But he assures me there is nothing to be concerned about."

Moore is feeling "surprised and very confident," she said. He maintains he is innocent, Robb said.

"He wouldn't be laughing otherwise."

Innocent victims

Det. Sgt Hank Idsinga, one of the investigators in the probe dubbed Project Summit, told a Wednesday news conference he's not aware that any Toronto citizen has ever before been charged with four murders at one time.

Facey and James were gunned down for "no rhyme or reason," said Idsinga.

"Mr. Moore, allegedly, for unknown reasons, pulled up to them in his vehicle and shot and killed them."

Facey, James and Spence had never had any contact with police and were not involved in any criminal activity, said Idsinga.

Spence was not believed to be the intended victim of the shooting, said Idsinga.

There had allegedly been a dispute between Moore and Cole, who was shot on the same street where Spence was gunned down a month and half earlier.

"There's no commonality between the victims," Idsinga said.

Detective 'at a loss'

"If these allegations are proven in court, he is an evil man," Idsinga said.

Idsinga said he "was at a loss" to say why the homicides and the other attacks may have occurred.

Moore "proclaims himself to be a gangster," but there is no evidence to suggest he was actually a member of a gang.

Moore has been in police custody since March, when he was arrested in connection with a nightclub shooting.

"These crimes can have a tremendous impact on the communities in which they occur. They cause people to become fearful, people to be afraid to go out and use public spaces," said Toronto police Chief Bill Blair.

"The Toronto Police Service is committed and resolute in its determination to bring the perpetrators of such violence to justice."

Police believe Moore was working with other people, and are looking at other unsolved homicides that may be linked to him.

As part of Project Summit, police also arrested three people in connection with an alleged weapons and ammunition trafficking ring. Police have also arrested three men allegedly involved in drug trafficking.

Their identities were not released.