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Toronto police search for suspects after 5 men injured in drive-by shooting

Toronto police say a group of men who had just finished midnight prayers were “randomly attacked” in a drive-by shooting in Scarborough early Saturday morning.

At around 1 a.m., a group of people celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan gathered in a parking lot to discuss where to eat after they finished praying, in the area of ​​Markham Road and Lawrence Avenue East, said the police.

“As they were here and about to leave, shots rang out. And unfortunately five people were hit by those bullets which we believe may have come from a vehicle on Markham Road passing by,” the Acting Staff Superintendent said. said David Rydzik during a press conference on Saturday afternoon.

Four men were found at the scene with gunshot wounds and taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries, police said.

A fifth victim, who also suffered non-life-threatening injuries, made it to the hospital on his own.

Police said the victims were between 28 and 35 years old and some were married with children.

“Three of these five have been released from hospital at this time and the other two are expected to recover very well,” Rydzik said.

At least six shots were fired at the men, but it’s unclear how many suspects were involved in the shooting, according to Rydzik.

Five people were injured following a drive-by shooting in the Markham Road and Lawrence Avenue East area of ​​Scarborough on Saturday morning.

According to initial police reports, the suspects fled the scene in a blue car and drove north on Markham Road.

“We believe the suspects were in a passing vehicle, but we are working very hard to gather surveillance video footage to try to corroborate this, so at this stage I cannot say for sure which vehicle was used in this particular. shooting, nor do I have a suspect description at this time,” Rydzik said.

Police said they could not say at this time whether the victims were being targeted because of their religious beliefs.

Rydzik added that the group of men appear to have been randomly attacked as there is no information to suggest they are involved in any type of crime.

“They [had] just come from prayers. They gather here because they have fasted all day. They gather here as they normally would during Ramadan to figure out “where are we going to eat” and maybe continue talking about Ramadan and that is absolutely concerning.

In a tweet posted Saturday afternoon, Toronto Police Chief James Ramer said that while it’s too early to confirm a motive, the department’s hate crimes unit is engaged in the investigation.

Nadeem Sheikh, board member of the Scarborough Muslim Association, also spoke at the press conference and expressed concern over the latest brazen shooting in the community.

“I am really upset and worried. I am preoccupied. Five mature, adult, family-oriented men were shot this morning,” Sheikh said.

“We call on our local law enforcement authorities with whom we work closely, our local governments, to apply all possible resources to apprehend these suspects and to curb gun violence in this community as well as in all other communities in Toronto. “, he added.

Police are asking anyone with information or dashcam footage to contact the 43 Division or Crime Stoppers anonymously.

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