JIT email@example.com_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-11-30 published
Daylight shooting claims life
Body found near laneway where drugs, violence prevalent
Conversation took place before bullets were fired, police say
By Isabel TEOTONIO, Staff Reporter
A man was left to die before horrified onlookers as his assailants fled by car after a brazen shooting yesterday afternoon in the city's west end.
Gunshots rang out around 3 p.m. on Perth Ave., a few metres north of Bloor St. W., next to a laneway that residents say is rife with drugs and violence.
The victim, identified by police Wednesday as 24-year-old Corey JOHN, was pronounced dead at the scene.
For at least 2 1/2 hours, his body remained under a blanket -- a sight that stunned residents and children returning home from work and school. JOHN's body, many remarked, eerily marked the spot where Holly JONES, 10, was abducted in 2003 before being sexually assaulted and killed.
One witness said she was startled by what sounded like firecrackers. "Even after (the victim) fell on the ground, they kept shooting at him."
Resham BUGG, who owns and operates 3 JIT Variety at the corner of Perth and Bloor, said he ran out after hearing between four and six gunshots. A small group of people quickly formed around the victim as he lay bleeding from what appeared to be gunshot wounds to the back, BUGG said. When they asked if he was all right, he nodded. He was dead minutes later.
witnesses: at the scene reported seeing two or three men flee in a small light-coloured car, possibly a grey or white Toyota Corolla hatchback.
"He was a nice guy, very polite," BUGG said, adding that JOHN was a frequent customer at his store. The neighbourhood is popular with drug dealers and prostitutes, BUGG said, adding his wife fears for their children's safety when they play outside.
Police Insp. Mike EARLE said witnesses: reported seeing "some type of conversation" before the shooting, adding he wasn't sure whether it was a dispute. Despite being in an area known to police for drug activity, EARLE wouldn't speculate on whether drugs played a role in Toronto's 72nd homicide this year, the 49th by shooting.
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