By: Katherine Aylesworth & Lia Richardson
A man killed in a drive-by shooting Monday morning marks Toronto’s 56th homicide of the year, matching 2015’s homicide rate.
Twenty-three-year-old Mohamed Omer was shot in the torso near the Kipling and Dixon area where he was found by police. He was in his Range Rover SUV which was crashed into a house on Windsor Road. Omer was later pronounced dead in hospital, police said.
Const. Victor Kwong of the Toronto Police Service said there isn’t one quick answer as to what’s causing the violence. He said, however, there have been just as many targeted cases as there are random shootings which is why they need to work with the community to move forward.
“We’ve found that our success rate on arrests and solving cases really hinge on community systems. We can’t be everywhere all the time so we are dependent on the help of the community,” said Kwong.
Kwong said the community can be of great help by reporting incidents and telling police beforehand all that they know.
“There is no crime that goes carried out in secrecy. Someone knows something about it,” he said.
According to Statistics Canada, there has been a five percent increase rate in Crime Severity Index. This is the first rise in police-reported crime in 12 years for all of Canada.
With just 67 days left in the year, the amount of homicides could possibly exceed 2014 and 2013’s 57 homicide cases. There were 56 in 2012, according to the Toronto Police Service.
Police reported there were 18 fatal stabbings in all of 2015 and six in 2016 resulting in homicide, so far.
So far, the highest form of murder in Toronto has been shootings. Some areas recently affected are Kipling and Dixon, Weston and Lawrence, Rexdale and Islington and Scarlet.
Business student Mark Mangabay, 22, grew up on the Weston Road area and said he worries for his safety as murder rates have increased.
“I hear about the shootings in areas that are so familiar to me and I’m honestly scared for my safety,” said Mangabay.
Mangabay said he’s now more cautious of his whereabouts.
“It’s scary to know that some of these people are getting shot and killed in places where I usually go out to eat or do my groceries,” he said.