Slideshow

GANGLAND NEWS

July 27, 2014

Bandidos sergeant-at-arms arrested over Broadbeach bikie brawl

DETECTIVES have charged yet another bikie over last year’s infamous Broadbeach brawl. Officers from the crack bikie squad Taskforce Maxima on Saturday arrested the national sergeant-at-arms of the Bandidos at Beenleigh for his role in the now-infamous stoush on September 27 last year. His arrest takes the number charged over the fracas, which saw bikies brawling in the middle of the Broadbeach restaurant precinct in front of stunned tourists before storming Southport Police Station, to 31. The shocking incident was the catalyst for the Newman government’s fierce crackdown on outlaw motorcycle gangs. The 39-year-old Bandido has been charged with one count of rioting and is expected to appear at the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Monday. Detective Inspector Brendan Smith of Taskforce Maxima said, “Today’s arrest shows we will be relentless in our efforts to investigate all aspects of the Broadbeach incident,” he said. “The passage of time does not affect our resolve.” The other 30 bikies already charged are facing trial on the Gold Coast later this year.

July 20, 2014

Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings

Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings, officials said on Saturday. Officers arrested the 40-year-old, whose real name is reportedly Hernan Alonso Villa, in the eastern seaside city of Alicante on Friday, according to a police statement. He is considered ‘the top leader of the military wing of the Oficina de Envigado, a Colombian criminal organisation accused of 400 killings as well as drug-trafficking, extorsion and forced displacements of Colombian citizens’, it said. ‘He is one of the criminals most wanted by the Colombian authorities. He had more than 200 people under his command and was responsible for exporting cocaine to Spain, the United States and Holland,’ the statement said. Spanish officers arrested him under a Colombian extradition warrant for charges including alleged homicide and arms offences. He was carrying 40,000 euros ($54,000) in cash when he was caught, the statement said. Authorities say the ‘Oficina’ gang dates back to the 1980s when it carried out killings for the now-dismantled Medellin Cartel. Spain is one of the main entry points for illegal narcotics into Europe and Colombia is one of the world’s biggest sources of cocaine. Colombia produced 290 tonnes of cocaine in 2013, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

July 18, 2014

SPANISH police arrest UK gangland murder suspect

Police in Madrid have arrested William Thomas Robert Paterson, wanted over the murder of a gangland enforcer in a car park in Scotland.

Paterson, nicknamed Buff and Billy, was wanted over the 2010 death of  Kevin 'Gerbil' Carroll in a supermarket car park in Glasgow. The 34-year-old fled to Spain after that crime where he remained in hiding until his arrest, Spain's El Diario newspaper reported on Thursday. Paterson appeared on a ten most wanted crime list released by  the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency and Crimestoppers as part of a campaign known as Operation Captura. This campaign targets criminals that UK authorities believe are on the run in Spain.

July 17, 2014

REVEALED: Shocking failure to police drink-spiking in Spanish resorts

POLICE in Spain have apparently no official records for the crime of drink-spiking. Hospitals and town halls have also failed to give any indication of the severity of the problem, despite a terrifying 60% increase in sexual attacks in Spanish resorts last year. The shocking revelation comes as assaults from spiking begin to soar, with the summer season now well underway. “It is clearly becoming a bigger issue and particularly in the summer,” said a source at Marbella Town Hall.

July 16, 2014

We cannot see our greatest selves beyond giant shame trees that provides shade for our demons of guilt

 while we sweat in the harshness of the midday sun of our hang-ups, begging to believe we are worthy.

Released Alien from Border Crisis Arrested for Alleged Murder, Kidnapping in Texas

An illegal immigrant who was released by U.S. authorities with a Notice to Appear has been arrested for the alleged murder of a woman and kidnapping of children on U.S. soil. The alleged crimes occurred after the man was released. The man, Pedro Alberto Monterroso-Navas, entered the U.S. illegally with children and turned himself in to U.S. Border Patrol agents. He was processed and released, as are all illegal immigrants who come as unaccompanied minors or incomplete family units from Central America. The alien is from Honduras. The arrest was first reported by the Associated Press (AP), but Breitbart Texas has exclusively confirmed that the man was part of the Obama Administration’s catch and release policy for family groups from Central America. A U.S. Border Patrol source who spoke with Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity provided Breitbart Texas with the alien registration number for the man, and the event number for the man’s apprehension. He was processed in the McAllen station of the U.S. Border Patrol. The alien’s registration number is 202027386. The event number for his apprehension is MCS14061487. The “MCS” designates the McAllen station, the “1406” designates that the man was apprehended in June of 2014. A separate Border Patrol source confirmed that the man was apprehended on June 26, 2014 with two children he claimed were his own. He told U.S. authorities he had family in Metairie, Louisiana.

Two Hells Angels associates sentenced as part of Project Flatlined

Two more Winnipeg men were sent packing to prison Monday for their differing roles in a “sophisticated and well-organized” Manitoba Hells Angels-led drug operation which was ultimately smashed up in a covert police sting. Jonathan Stewart, 32, and Brian Chesney were sentenced in back-to-back hearings and escorted from Judge Robert Heinrichs’s courtroom to begin serving their time after being arrested early last year in Project Flatlined. Stewart, described by the Crown as a “trusted courier” for a crack cocaine ring in the Elmwood neighbourhood orchestrated by top members of the Hells Angels and support crew, Redlined, received a sentence of 57 months on criminal organization and conspiracy charges. Stewart was not a member of either gang but knew key players from growing up in Elmwood, court heard. He assisted the two top-ranking Redlined members in various ways, including preparing crack cocaine for its eventual distribution to users. “This organization would not have operated as well as it did without the assistance of Mr. Stewart,” said federal Crown attorney Geoff Bayly, who named Stewart’s key contacts as Brendin Wall and Justin MacLeod. Chesney, 35, was handed a term of 45 months for cocaine-trafficking and committing acts for the benefit of a criminal organization. Chesney was the roommate of Redlined associate Thomas Barnecki and was caught making crack deliveries to undercover cops, as well as renting a new “stash house” for the crime ring after it was discovered police had infiltrated another by placing a video camera inside. Bayly detailed for the court the sophisticated setup of the cocaine-slinging ring, which he said was headed up by Hells Angel Dale Sweeney. The ring had a defined management structure, production cell and street-distribution network, Bayly said. Police have previously said two cellphones used by the operation rang 530 times a day on average over the 10 months cops were secretly monitoring it between May 1, 2011 and late February 2012. The conservative estimate of sales in that time was said to be $1.5 million, police have said. The cop estimate is based on halving the total number of calls traced to the phones over the life of the investigation (159,154) and assumes only a single $20 rock of crack was sold as a result, police say. Police believe the volume of sales was likely much higher. Stewart had no prior criminal record and was supported by a large number of ashen-faced family and friends in court. Heinrichs was told he suffers with schizophrenia. His mental illness combined with drug use caused his life to go “off the rails,” lawyer Aaron Seib said. Chesney, a recently married father of four, was also supported in court by family.

September 04, 2012

Griselda Blanco, gunned down in Medellin, Colombia Two armed riders pulled up to Blanco as she was leaving a butcher shop in her hometown

Florida Department of Corrections

Griselda Blanco in 2004.

The convicted Colombian drug smuggler known as the “Godmother of Cocaine,” Griselda Blanco, 69, was gunned down by a motorcycle-riding assassin in Medellin, Colombian national police confirmed late Monday, according to the Miami Herald.

Blanco spent nearly 20 years in prison in the United States for drug trafficking and three murders before being deported to Colombia in 2004, the Herald reported.

Two armed riders pulled up to Blanco as she was leaving a butcher shop in her hometown, and one shot her twice in the head, the Herald reported, citing a report in El Colombiano newspaper.

Family members said Blanco had cut her ties to organized crime after returning to her country, the BBC reported. Police said they were investigating the motive.

Blanco was one of the first to engage in large-scale smuggling of cocaine into the United States from Colombia and set up many of the routes used by the Medellin cartel after she was sentenced in the United States in 1985, the BBC reported.

Investigators told the Herald that they estimate conservatively that Blanco was behind about 40 slayings. She was convicted in connection with three murders: Arranging the killing of two South Miami drug dealers who had not paid for a delivery, and ordering the assassination of a former enforcer for her organization, an operation that resulted in the death of the target’s 2-year-old son, the Herald reported.

Three of Blanco’s husbands were killed in violence related to drugs, the Herald reported, and one of her sons was named Michael Corleone, a reference to “The Godfather” movies.

Blanco is credited with originating motorcycle assassinations, the Herald reported.

“This is classic live-by-the-sword, die-by-the-sword,” filmmaker Billy Corben, who with Alfred Spellman made two “Cocaine Cowboys” documentaries, told the Herald. “Or in this case, live-by-the-motorcycle-assassin, die-by-the-motorcycle assassin.”

August 27, 2012

Bikie gang suspects in brawl arrests at Penrith shopping centre

FOUR men with alleged links to outlaw motorcycle gangs were arrested last week after a brawl at a Penrith shopping centre. Police officers from the gangs squad and Penrith local area command had been investigating the brawl, which forced shoppers to flee for their safety about 2.45pm last Monday. Police will allege a man was leaving the shopping centre when he was confronted by a group of nine men and fighting began. A number of people tried to intervene, including an unknown male who was assaulted. All involved in the brawl then left the scene. At 7am last Thursday, police simultaneously raided four homes at St Marys, Emu Plains, South Windsor and Freemans Reach. Three men with alleged links to the Rebels were arrested at St Marys and Emu Plains, while an alleged senior Nomads member was arrested at Freemans Reach. During the search warrants, police seized distinctive gang clothing, quantities of anabolic steroids and prescription drugs and a set of knuckledusters. A man, 29, of Emu Plains, was charged with affray, participate in a criminal group and two counts of possess prescribed restricted substance. A man, 44, of Freemans Reach, was charged with affray, possess prohibited weapon, and two counts of possess prescribed restricted substance. A man, 25, of St Marys, and a 23-year-old New Zealand man were each charged with affray and participate in a criminal group. Penrith crime manager Detective Inspector Grant Healey said further arrests were anticipated.

27 charged in California-Mexico methamphetamine ring

 Local and federal authorities moved Thursday to break up an alleged drug trafficking ring connecting a major Mexican cartel and San Gabriel Valley street gangs, arresting 17 people in a pre-dawn sweep. A federal indictment unsealed Thursday charges 27 defendants with making, possessing and dealing methamphetamine imported by La Familia Michoacana, one of Mexico’s most violent cartels, to two Pomona gangs: Los Amables and Westside Pomona Malditos. Seven law enforcement agencies, including the Pasadena and Pomona police, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, were involved in the sweep. Thursday’s crackdown is the culmination of a probe called Operation Crystal Light, a 16-month investigation by the San Gabriel Valley Safe Streets Gang Task Force. The investigation was launched after a 2011 kidnapping among suspected gang members in Southern California. Officers said they seized nine weapons, an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine, other drugs, and paraphernalia in Thursday morning raids in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The probe involved about 200 law enforcement officers and several undercover purchases. “The goal of the federal task force is to disrupt the network so it’s disrupted permanently,” Timothy Delaney, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Criminal Division in Los Angeles, said. “Today’s arrests took some very serious players in the methamphetamine world off the streets.” The methamphetamine came into the country in liquid form via airplane, boats and cars, officials said. The drug was recrystallized at an Ontario home before local gangs would sell it and funnel money to the Mexican cartel. Most of the drugs were being sold in Pomona and Ontario, according to Assistant U.S. Atty. Shawn Nelson. Dealers were selling multiple pounds a day and making up to $9,000 per pound, Nelson said. He described the arrests as “a good dent” in the Mexican cartel’s local drug network. Three suspects were in custody before the raid and seven remain at large, federal authorities said. The indictment alleges that a La Familia Michoacana associate named Jose Juan Garcia Barron oversaw the transport of the meth between Mexico and Los Angeles County. Delaney said Garcia Barron is among the suspects who have not been apprehended. The 17 arrested Thursday were expected to make their first court appearance Thursday afternoon at U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

Police think Ogden drive-bys are tied to gang's power struggle

Police believe drive-by shootings at an Ogden home Tuesday night and Wednesday morning may be related to a violent power struggle within a street gang over control of leadership, drugs and money. Ogden Police Lt. Scott Conley declined to identify the gang, but said members are not affiliated with the Ogden Trece. On Monday, 2nd District Judge Ernie Jones issued a permanent injunction against Trece members, banning them from associating with each other in public and being in the presence of guns, drugs and alcohol. The injunction also places Treces under an 11 p.m. curfew. The drive-by shootings at a home in the 500 block of 28th Street are signs of in-fighting among members of a local gang who are attempting to resolve their differences through escalating violence, Conley said. “They are in the same gang and are arguing back and forth,” he said, noting police have gathered intelligence on the dispute. “We are taking enforcement action to eradicate the problem or get the individuals involved incarcerated.” Six to eight gang members are believed to be involved in the dispute.

August 25, 2012

The nine people believed injured by stray police gunfire outside the Empire State Building were not the first to learn how dangerous a crowded street can be in a gunfight.

 Civilians occasionally find themselves in harm's way when officers use deadly force, though usually only a handful of times annually. When that happens, a rigid process of investigation is set in motion — and the police department can reasonably expect a lawsuit. The latest episode came when police say a man disgruntled over losing his job a year ago shot a former colleague to death and pointed his weapon at two police officers in the shadow of a major tourist attraction. He apparently wasn't able to fire before police killed him, one firing off seven rounds and the other nine. Bystanders suffered graze wounds, and some were struck by concrete gouged from buildings by the bullets, authorities said. At least one person said he was actually hit by a bullet. Robert Asika, a 23-year-old tour guide who was hit in the right arm, said he was "100 percent positive" he was shot by a police officer. A witness told police that laid-off clothing designer Jeffrey Johnson fired at officers, but ballistics evidence so far contradicts that, authorities said.

August 23, 2012

Tracking a Rare Tattoo-Related Infection

A Trail of Ink: Tracking a Rare Tattoo-Related Infection

PHOTO: Tattoo ink skin infection
An uncommon skin infection led to a doctor's investigation into tainted tattoo ink. (Monroe County Health Department)
The reddish-purple rash, seemingly woven into the tattoo on a 20-year-old New Yorker's forearm, was strange enough to have doctors scratching their heads.

This trail began when the man received a tattoo in Rochester, N.Y. in October 2011. A short while later, he noticed the raised, bumpy rash. He called his primary care physician.

Doctors initially treated the man's arm with topical steroids, thinking that the rash was allergic-contact dermatitis. But that only made the problem worse.

By the time dermatologist Dr. Mark Goldgeier saw the patient, it was clear that this was no simple allergy.

He performed a skin biopsy so he could take a closer look at the rash under a microscope. What he saw was startling: the sample was riddled with a wormlike bacterium related to tuberculosis.

"I explained [to the patient] that he had TB, and he had a look of horror on his face," Goldgeier said.

For the patient, the finding meant a trip to an infectious disease specialist to start up to a full year of treatment.

Goldgeier, meanwhile, called the Monroe County Health Department.

"As soon as biopsy came back," he said, "I knew something in the process of tattooing was involved -- the ink, the water used for dilution, the syringes, the dressings."

And so began a nationwide medical mystery.

An article published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine describes how this one dermatologist helped connect the dots in an outbreak of tattoo-related atypical skin infections.

Dr. Byron Kennedy, public health specialist at Monroe County Department of Public Health, took over the case from Goldgeier. Kennedy first confirmed the results by repeating a skin biopsy on the patient. Once again, tendrils of mycobacterium chelonae, a type of tuberculosis-related skin bacteria, showed up in the sample.

Mycobacterium chelonae is a rapidly growing bug found in soil, dust, water, animals, hospitals, and contaminated pharmaceuticals. This family of bacteria does not commonly affect healthy individuals, but in patients with suppressed immune systems -- like those with HIV or on chemotherapy -- these bacteria can cause serious disease, often resulting in death.

The finding sent Kennedy and his associates to the tattoo parlor where the patient had been inked. Everything in the clinic was sterile, which made it unlikely that the infection had arisen there. But the tattoo artist, they learned, had been using a new gray premixed ink purchased in Arizona in April 2011; he used the ink between May and December 2011.

The ingredients of the ink -- pigment, witch hazel, glycerin, and distilled water -- seemed innocuous enough. But further examination revealed that the distilled water in the pigment was the likely culprit of the contamination.

The finding raised a number of questions -- not the least of which was how the bottles of premixed ink passed U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged this gap in regulations Wednesday in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report.

"Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, tattoo inks are considered to be cosmetics, and the pigments used in the inks are color additives requiring premarket approval," the report says.

Armed gang fight breaks out in Venezuelan prison

Twenty-five people were killed and 43 others hurt in a prison battle in Venezuela as two armed gangs vied for control of a penitentiary near Caracas, authorities said on Monday.

July 29, 2012

NYPD detective suspended after kidnapping victim found in his garage

17-year veteran of the New York Police Department has been suspended without pay after a kidnapping victim was found tied up in his garage. The New York Post reports Ondre Johnson, a detective with the Brooklyn north gang unit, was being questioned in connection with the incident and was forced to surrender his gun and badge. A source tells the Post the 25-year-old victim was snatched off the street on July 26. The victim's friends then got calls demanding $75,000 for the victim's release. The call was traced to Johnson's home, MyFoxNY.com reports. When authorities arrived Friday afternoon, Johnson answered the door and identified himself as a detective with the NYPD. Investigators then found the victim tied up in the garage. Four men have been charged in the apparent kidnapping scheme, MyFoxNY.com reports. 30-year-old Hakeem Clark, who lives in the same building as Johnson, was charged with kidnapping and weapons possession along with 27-year-old Jason Hutson and 27-year-old James Gayle. 24-year-old Alfredo Haughton was charged with kidnapping.

Jamie “Iceman” Stevenson is back on the streets

Jamie “Iceman” Stevenson is back on the streets – less than halfway through his prison sentence for laundering £1million of drugs cash. Scotland’s most powerful mobster has been enjoying meals at expensive restaurants and socialising with pals after being allowed home for a week each month. Stevenson – who was also accused of shooting dead his best friend in an underworld hit – was put behind bars in September 2006 when he was arrested after a four-year surveillance operation by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. He was later sentenced to 12 years and nine months for money laundering. But, we can reveal, he is now allowed out of Castle Huntly open prison near Dundee – just five years and 10 months later. A source said: “He seems determined to show his face all around town to deliver the message that he’s back and, as far as he’s concerned, nothing has changed. “A lot of people are surprised that he’s being allowed out so early. Some are not too pleased about it for a number of reasons.” Stevenson, 47, has been spotted at Bothwell Bar & Brasserie, which is run by his friend Stewart Gilmore. He and his cronies have also dined at upmarket Italian restaurant Il Pavone in Glasgow’s Princes Square shopping centre. And Stevenson has joined friends at various other restaurants and hotels, including Glasgow’s Hilton Garden Inn. A Sunday Mail investigation can today reveal that the Parole Board for Scotland could recommend Stevenson’s total freedom as early as February next year. However, the final decision on his release will rest with Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. Yesterday, Labour justice spokesman Lewis Macdonald said: “I’m surprised to hear this and that anyone in these circumstances should get out of jail before the halfway point of their sentence – far less so when the conviction is of someone involved in organised crime. “The only circumstances where that would be conceivable would be if someone completely changed their lifestyle. But even then that should not be before they’ve served half their sentence. “I’m sure the victims of these crimes – and with drugs there are direct and indirect victims – will also be surprised at this.” To prepare Stevenson for his release, prison bosses have allowed him to stay a full week each month at his modest flat in Burnside, near Glasgow. On Friday, we watched him leaving the property with his wife Caroline and driving off in a silver Audi. A prison service insider said: “The Parole Board expect the prison authorities to have allowed home visits to test suitability for release ahead of the first eligible parole date. In Stevenson’s case, that’s next February. “There are conditions attached which vary but usually include the obvious ones like not mixing with other criminals and staying only at the designated address. “For prisoners sentenced to more than 10 years, the Parole Board make their recommendations to the Justice Secretary, who then decides whether to release on licence. “Stevenson is trying to keep his nose clean to convince the Parole Board that he poses no threat to society. “But, given his high profile and significance, it’s inevitable that the authorities will be careful before making any final decision.” Stevenson headed a global smuggling gang with a multi-million-pound turnover when he was brought down by the SCDEA’s Operation Folklore, which seized £61million of drugs. He faced drug and money laundering charges along with eight other suspects, including his 53-year-old wife. But his lawyers struck a deal with the Crown Office to admit money laundering in exchange for his wife’s freedom and the drugs charges being dropped. Stevenson’s stepson Gerry Carbin Jr, 32, was also jailed – for five years and six months – but was freed in 2010. Stevenson was previously arrested for the murder of Tony McGovern, 35, who was gunned down in Glasgow’s Springburn in 2000. But prosecutors dropped the case through lack of evidence. A gangland source said: “He does not fear any kind of reprisal from Tony’s brothers, nor does he regard any other criminals in Scotland as a threat or even as rivals. He did not fear any other operation in Scotland before he was jailed. Why would he now?” Two years ago, the Sunday Mail exposed a backdoor deal when the Crown handed back Stevenson’s £300,000 watch collection, which had been seized under proceeds of crime of legislation. Last June, he was sent back to high-security Shotts jail in Lanarkshire from an open prison after a major SCDEA drugs probe, Operation Chilon. Detectives believed that the gang they investigated was controlled by Stevenson. Haulage firm boss Charles McAughey’s home was one of 11 targeted in raids. In 2009, we revealed that French police had found 684kg of pure cocaine worth £31million in a lorry owned by McAughey. Chilon resulted in the SCDEA seizing 242kg of cannabis worth £1.21million and the jailing of three men for a combined 15 years.

Four Dead in Gang Related Shooting

Police in Alice are investigating a shooting that occurred near Reynolds Street. According to investigators, it all started on South Nayer Street where police say Isaac Vela was standing on the side of the road waiting for a ride. A vehicle -- with four people inside passed by. One of the passengers, police say, shot Vela in the face. The vehicle fled the scene, but the driver only made it a few blocks before he lost control of the vehicle. It smashed into a nearby school. Three of the four people inside the car died. The other is in the hospital...where investigators will interview him tomorrow. Police say all of the men involved are known gang members.

July 28, 2012

Tulisa's Friend, 21, Shot Dead In Gangland Hit

Reece James, 21, a close friend of Tulisa Contostavlos has been shot dead in a reported gangland attack. The 21-year-old, who appeared with Tulisa in a video for rapper Nines, was shot in the head in a "pre-planned and targeted" hit, 100 miles from his home in London, reports the UK's Sun newspaper. Police found James' body in Boscombe, Bournemouth, at around 2.30am near where Somali drug gangs are said operate. A 22-year-old man was arrested. Reece was said to have been in the area with some friends for "a couple of months", though had filmed the video earlier this month with Tulisa and rapper Nines on the Church End Estate in Harlesden, North West London. The former N Dubz star caused controversy at the time, making a "C" symbol to the camera - the same sign that is used by Harlesden's notorious Church Road Soldiers gang. Tulisa claimed it was a reference to Camden, where she was born. Twitter tributes began flooding in last night, with one user writing, "RIP Reece James. Thoughts are with him and his family and friends". Local MP Tobias Ellwood described the killing as "a spill over from the drugs turf war in the capital", adding, "This was one London gang chasing down another, carrying out a professional hit and then going back".

July 18, 2012

Toronto police fear 'retaliatory vengeance' after deadly gang fight

Teams of street gang specialists began combing known gang hangout neighbourhoods in a bid to prevent revenge attacks after the worst mass shooting in Toronto's history, the city's top cop announced Tuesday. In addition to its gang-crime units, Chief Bill Blair said supervisors have "deployed significant uniformed resources into communities where we fear retaliation." They include the Toronto neighbourhoods of Scarborough, Rexdale and North York, Blair said, and the historically gang-plagued Jane-Finch area. "We are very concerned for retaliatory vengeance," he said, declining to characterize the shooting at a barbecue on an east-end residential street as part of a gang war. But with partygoers likely coming from other areas, "there are other neighbourhoods that could be impacted," Blair said, calling the Danzig St. shooting "unprecedented" and requiring "immediate action." There is a "strong indication of gang involvement," but despite believing they "have good investigative leads," he said it was too early in the hunt for the shooters to reveal further detail. Blair said he doesn't want to risk releasing information that could harm future court proceedings. One handgun was seized after gunfire erupted around 10:42 p.m. Monday at the house party in Toronto's east-end Scarborough neighbourhood. The high volume of shots suggests they were firing semi-automatics. Based on information given to police, Blair said gunfire was exchanged between two men, leaving two "innocent" people dead and 24 others - ranging in age from 22 months to 33 years - suffering various wounds. Shyanne Charles, 14, of Toronto, and Joshua Yasay, 23, of Ajax, became Toronto's 27th and 28th murder victims of the year when they were pronounced dead where they fell. Paramedics treated the wounded for wide-ranging injuries as slight as "grazing," Blair said, lauding their quick response to 911 calls. Several of the 16 survivors taken to hospital were released, but one man undergoing surgery was left in critical condition. Police are striving to "very quickly" bring this year's latest public shooting to a "quick resolution," the chief said. Those responsible "have to be held accountable."Referring to the June 2 shooting of seven people at the Eaton Centre, a crowded downtown shopping mall, in which two men were killed, plus the Boxing Day 2005 shooting death of teenage shopper Jane Creba, he said police efforts are aimed at protecting the "safety of the innocents." Blair said the "very brazen type of depraved violence is characteristic of people with a gang mentality." "We have received some co-operation from individuals at the scene," he said, adding that police have identified one person of interest as the investigation continues. Of the 23 injured by gunfire and the one person trampled in the chaos, Blair said "many of these people were innocent individuals." Some of the wounded were hit by projectiles that had already struck other victims. When the shooting started, many people in a crowd estimated at more than 100 fled, which was a natural fear reaction, the chief said. But he appealed to anyone who was there - especially those with video or photos and who care for the safety of themselves, loved ones and their community - to contact the police homicide squad. Blair also issued a warning about anyone who is linked to gang members: "If you associate with such individuals, you put yourself at risk." Asked about increasing gun incidents in the city, he said, "Today is not, in my opinion, a day to reflect on statistics." He said police did not have prior knowledge about the barbecue, which was "just recently organized." He said Toronto Police were very effective in tackling gangs and related shootings seven years ago, when the Gun and Gang unit was formed. Blair said he contacted Premier Dalton McGuinty and Mayor Rob Ford after Monday's shooting. "I believe Toronto is a very safe and liveable place, but last night (that street) was not a safe place," he said. In a statement, the city's police overseers expressed support for the investigation. "The Toronto Police Services Board is saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries resulting from the horrible shooting incident," chairman Alok Mukherjee said. "The board expresses its condolences to the families who have been so dreadfully affected by this senseless violence."We fully support the efforts being made by the Toronto Police Service under Chief Blair's leadership and are confident that those responsible will be identified and charged. "Everyone's co-operation is required in order to solve this crime."

Police suspect gangs behind Toronto BBQ shooting that killed 2, injured 24


A man is attended to on the scene and loaded onto a gurney for transport following a shooting that left 19 injured and two dead in Toronto late Monday, July 16, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Toronto Star - Rick Madonik
 

A man is attended to on the scene and loaded onto a gurney for transport following a shooting that left 19 injured and two dead in Toronto late Monday, July 16, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Toronto Star - Rick Madonik

TORONTO - The threat of revenge-fuelled violence weighed heavily on an east-end Toronto neighbourhood Tuesday as residents mourned the victims of a deadly shooting rampage at a bustling block party and police vowed to bring the gunmen to justice.

Officers pleaded for witnesses to come forward while promising to stand guard over those left shaken and fearful by the attack that killed two people and wounded two dozen Monday night.

About 200 people were at the barbecue held outside a community housing complex when two gunmen opened fire after an altercation in what police are calling the worst incident of gun violence in the city's recent history.

Police said they suspect gangs were involved in the shooting that killed 14-year-old Shyanne Charles of Toronto and 23-year-old Joshua Yasay of Ajax.

Twenty-three others were sent to hospital with gunshot wounds, including a 22-month-old child who was grazed by a bullet and is in stable condition, police said. One person was trampled in the ensuing stampede.

Some of the wounded, aged between one and 33 years old, were treated and released. One man remained in critical condition in hospital Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Messages of grief quickly appeared on social media even as some hinted the deaths could spur more violence.

"The hood gained another angel to look over us, RIP," one person wrote on Twitter.

Police Chief Bill Blair said police have received "some co-operation" from witnesses at the scene and called on all community members who attended the party to help with the investigation.

Police also asked for anyone with video or photos of the incident to send them in, a strategy they have used in similar investigations in the past.

"I'm here today to make an appeal through you all, to the many hundreds of people who were present at the event yesterday who may have some information relevant to this investigation to come forward," Blair said.

"We are very concerned not only with the quick resolution and solving of this crime but the potential for retaliatory violence, which we often see in this type of event," Blair said.

Police said one injured "person of interest" is in custody.

The incident took place before 11 p.m. Monday on Danzig Street near Morningside Avenue and Lawrence Avenue East.

The street was still strewn with empty water bottles and other remnants of the party on Tuesday, as swaths of police tape surrounded the area.

Shannon Longshaw said the party, which she helped organize, started as an afternoon barbecue for neighbourhood kids. But even as the crowd grew later in the day, she said the festivities stayed friendly — until shots suddenly rang out.

"There was no fighting, nobody got into an altercation, none of that," she said Tuesday morning, after spending much of the night being questioned by officers.

Bruce Strachan has lived in the area his whole life, but said he's now thinking of moving away.

"This is shocking," he said, watching police comb over the scene.

"I've got my two granddaughters living with me here. I brought them up from Trinidad to be safe from this type of violence and it's right around my corner."

Tears shone in one man's eyes as he recalled walking out of a friend's house and into the crowded celebration just moments before violence erupted.

"I saw people running, I heard 'crack, crack' and I hit the ground," said the man, who did not want to be identified out of concern for his safety.

"It was like a Quentin Tarantino movie," he said, calling it the most frightening thing he had ever seen in more than four decades in the neighbourhood.

Mayor Rob Ford visited the scene of what he called a "horrible tragedy" Tuesday and sought to reassure residents that Toronto remains safe, despite several high-profile shootings in recent weeks.

"We've had a couple of isolated incidents ... I know this is the safest city in the world, I've always said that, I truly believe it," said Ford.

"Everyone has to move on and carry on with their life," he added.

Federal and provincial officials quickly condemned the violence.

"The actions that unfolded there sadden us and anger us at the same time," Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said. "They are, in a word, outrageous, something that we cannot and will not stand for, we will not tolerate."

Monday night's shooting came just weeks after a gunman opened fire in a crowded food court at Toronto's Eaton Centre. One man was killed instantly, another died of his injuries days later and several bystanders were sent to hospital.

In another recent incident, a man was shot in Toronto's east end shortly after the Canada Day fireworks display at the city's waterfront.

As well, a man was gunned down at a crowded cafe in Toronto's Little Italy on June 18.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More