WRX email@example.com_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-02-13 published
3 dead, 5 hurt in deadly weekend
Series of incidents involving gunfire erupts across the city, including attack on couple
By Megan OGILVIE and Jordan HEATH- RAWLINGS, Staff Reporters
A weekend of gunfire and violence has left three people dead and five people being treated for their injuries in local hospitals.
The victims include a man in his 20s who was found shot dead yesterday in his apartment in the Kipling-Steeles Aves. area, a woman fatally shot Friday evening by a man who police say had "some relationship" with her, and a man who collapsed dead in a Davenport Rd. home Friday afternoon during a fight with another resident.
Other shootings yesterday and Friday also sent several victims to hospital.
The incidents include:
A shooting at about 5 p.m. yesterday at 2777 Kipling Ave. near Steeles Ave. W. Police say they arrived at the Etobicoke building and found a man in his 20s shot dead in a 13th-floor apartment. Two other victims were rushed to Sunnybrook hospital, where they are being treated for gunshot wounds.
A woman was shot dead and her husband injured by gunfire just before 6 p.m. Friday when they were attacked in an underground parking garage on Brookbanks Dr. in North York. Det.-Sgt. Gerry CASHMAN said police are hunting a suspect who had "some relationship" with the woman.
Border points and airports are on the lookout for the suspect, who police believe may be headed for Vancouver. John KOVACS, 52, is wanted on charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder. He was last seen fleeing the scene in a silver 1999 Honda with Ontario plate 149 WRX.
On Friday afternoon police arrived at a Davenport Rd. residence in the St. Clair Ave. W.-Lansdowne Ave. area to find 50-year-old Donald Andrew LATREMOUILLE with no vital signs. Investigators say the man collapsed on the kitchen floor during a fight with another resident. A cause of death has not been determined. Christopher Gordon PHILLIPS, 27, is in custody on a charge of manslaughter.
Also yesterday, police rushed to the Plaza Flamingo, on College St. near Bathurst Street, after gunfire erupted at about 1 a.m. Investigators say a man was shot in the back after a fight broke out on the dance floor, and a woman hit in the thigh. Police say the same bullet may have hit both victims, who are being treated for their injuries.
Officers are also investigating reports of gunfire yesterday in the Dupont and Dufferin Sts. area, although no victims had turned up.
Police are also continuing the hunt for a suspect after a student standing in a covered bus shelter near Monsignor Fraser College, in the Midland-Finch Aves. area, was hit in the arm by gunfire about 1 p.m. Friday.
Following last night's shooting on Kipling Ave., residents peered over balconies and shouted to onlookers assembled on the sidewalk as police scoured the area for suspects.
"I heard people crying close to apartment 1308, so I went to go and see," said Abdul ABOUD, 45, who was visiting a friend on the 16th floor when he heard about a commotion three floors down.
"About two or three people were crying and there were three police officers," he said. "One was taking notes and two others were standing by the open door."
A resident who identified himself only as Kirk W., 23, said he wasn't surprised by the shootings. "This does happen around here, especially in the ghetto," he said. "And this is the ghetto."
Blaine TIMMER, a 20-year resident of the building who was out for an evening walk with his dog, said he's had it. "It's time to move," he said. "It's gangs, hookers and drugs. This is a high-crime area, lots of young people with nothing better to do."
At last word, police had no suspects.
Investigators probing Friday's fatal shooting on Brookbanks Dr. were given a description of the suspect by the dead woman's husband, who was injured by the gunfire and is recovering in Sunnybrook hospital.
CASHMAN said the 35-year-old woman and her attacker had a history together. "My understanding is that it's a personal relationship," he said.
Police say they are unable to release her identity until they contact next-of-kin in Europe.
Investigators said they knew of at least one order barring the suspect from contacting the victim, but they wouldn't characterize the nature of the order.
CASHMAN called the killing "a cold-blooded ambush, just a cold-blooded attack.
"It appears that he was lying in wait for these individuals," CASHMAN said. "He came up unprovoked and shot them."
With files from Emily MATHIEU and Priya RAMANUJAM
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WRX firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-02-14 published
Shot man died shielding brothers
By Emily MATHIEU and Nicolaas VAN RIJN, Staff Reporters
A 22-year-old man shot dead in an Etobicoke apartment Saturday afternoon was killed defending his two young brothers, his grief-stricken mother said yesterday.
Toronto police say Orlando GRUNDY was killed after "a number of persons" entered his 13th-floor apartment at 2777 Kipling Ave. and began shooting at about 5 p.m. Saturday.
Residents in neighbouring apartments talked of hearing shotgun blasts coming from apartment 1308 where GRUNDY, of Jane Street, had gathered with his brothers and several other people.
GRUNDY's mother Sydney is in no doubt about her son's bravery.
"He dove in front of his brothers," she said yesterday as the family gathered to discuss what little they knew about Saturday's events. "He took the bullet for the other two."
The two younger boys, both injured in the gunfire, "were holding their brother in their arms" when police arrived on the chaotic scene, she said.
"His brother was laying in their arms, and they handcuffed them."
Two other men were injured in the attack, which GRUNDY's family said occurred when "people came in and started shooting at everything." They were taken to Sunnybrook hospital, where one victim remains in critical condition with a gunshot wound to his face, while the other is out of intensive care and expected to make a full recovery.
GRUNDY's mother said she was beginning to hear details from her two younger boys, who were later released from custody and gathered with family members yesterday.
"We all loved him," she said softly as she reflected on her dead son, whom she called a "soldier of love.
"He's my oldest son."
The gunmen fled the building and, despite a massive search by police and members of the Emergency Task Force, managed to elude capture.
Toronto police yesterday appealed for the public's assistance in tracking down the shooters responsible for Toronto's seventh homicide this year, but investigators have so far not released a description of the wanted men.
The GRUNDY family's grief capped a violent weekend in Toronto, one that also saw Szilvia VERES, 35, of Toronto killed in a Friday night shooting and 50-year-old Donald Andrew LATREMOUILLE die of unknown causes during an argument with roommate Christopher Gordon PHILLIPS at their Davenport Rd. residence Friday. PHILLIPS, 27, has been charged with manslaughter.
Saturday's violence included an early-morning shooting at the Flamingo Bar on College St. that left a man and a woman slightly injured.
A suspect in the Flamingo bar shooting turned himself in late Saturday.
Edwin VALASQUEZ, 20, turned himself in to 14 Division police around 9 p.m. Saturday; he faces numerous charges including attempted murder while using a firearm and two counts of aggravated assault. Faruth PORTOBANCO, 25, of Toronto was arrested earlier in the Flamingo incident.
Two off-duty paramedics, in the club when gunfire broke out at 2: 30 a.m. Saturday are being recommended for civilian citations after they tackled the gunman and disarmed him.
Gunfire continued to echo on Toronto streets just after noon yesterday, sending shoppers ducking for cover in the parking lot outside several stores in the Albion Rd. and Islington Ave. area of Rexdale.
Police said a man was sitting in his car in a plaza parking lot at 950 Albion Rd. when three suspects approached and "almost immediately opened fire with three guns."
Although a number of bullets hit his car, shattering the windows, the intended victim was able to flee without injury, Detective Debbie HARRIS said in a statement.
Police converged on the area and, with the assistance of heavily armed Emergency Task Force officers, arrested three suspects and recovered two handguns and a quantity of drugs.
Ali Nassir SHOWBEG, 23, faces charges including attempted murder and possession of cocaine for trafficking.
The other two suspects, Sean Conrad GRANT, 21, and Vanessa Charlene BAILEY, 19, are charged with possession of a restricted firearm and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
And police are continuing their search for the suspect in Friday's fatal shooting of VERES, who died instantly after a man opened fire as she and her husband, 46-year-old Kemenczy MIKLOS of Toronto, were in a parking lot at 15 Brookbanks Dr., in the York Mills Rd. and Don Valley Parkway area.
A Canada-wide warrant has been issued for John KOVACS, 52, of Etobicoke, who was last seen fleeing in a 1999 silver Honda with Ontario plates 149 WRX. KOVACS faces charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder.
With files from Jordan HEATH- RAWLINGS, Priya RAMANUJAM and Jim WILKES
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WRX email@example.com_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-02-15 published
Woman's accused killer stalked her, police say
The man wanted in the execution-style killing of a Toronto woman was her former boyfriend and had threatened her, police confirmed yesterday.
Szilvia VERES, 35, was shot dead on Friday just before 6 p.m. when she and her husband, Miklos KEMENCZY, were ambushed in the underground parking garage of an apartment building on Brookbanks Dr., near York Mills Rd. and the Don Valley Parkway in North York.
KEMENCZY, 46, was wounded trying to protect his wife. He was taken to hospital and is recovering from surgery.
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of John KOVACS, 52. He was last seen in a silver 1999 Honda with Ontario licence plate 149 WRX, police said.
"It was a short relationship that ended in March of 2004," said Jeff McGUIRE, staff inspector with Toronto's homicide squad. "The accused was unhappy with this and over the course of the past year has continued to harass and stalk (the victim)."
Last year KOVACS was charged with four counts of criminal harassment and one count of threatening death, police said.
McGUIRE said he believes KOVACS could still be in the Toronto area but that he also has contacts in Vancouver and Nova Scotia. He is considered armed and dangerous, police said.
Anyone with information pertaining to the case is urged to contact the homicide squad at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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