TORONTO - Toronto’s latest murder victim was at Monday’s barbecue party when gunfire erupted, killing two people and wounded 23 others, QMI Agency has learned.
The same source says the mass shooting - the worst incident of gun violence in the city’s history - was definitely gang-related.
“The retaliation has started,” crime victim advocate Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo said just hours after the body of Daniel Davis, 27, was identified as Toronto’s 30th murder victim of the year by friends and relatives at the scene of a west-end schoolyard.
Omololu-Olunloyo, who is well connected to Toronto’s black community, was told of the stunning turn of events by a family member of someone who was at the party with the 27-year-old found dead in Lawrence Heights early Thursday.
Although the victim, also known as “Snoop,” was gunned down on the opposite side of the city, she is convinced his slaying is connected to the deadly shootout in the city’s east end just over 48 hours earlier.
Toronto Police could not immediately confirm or deny that Davis was at the public housing complex on Monday.
“As far as I know this guy, he’s a very good person,” said one elderly woman described as a mother-figure to the victim.
Wishing to remain unnamed, she said she had dinner with Davis on Wednesday night.
“He grew up in the neighbourhood, he went to school together with my kids,” she said, tears pooling in her eyes.
“Everybody knows him as a handsome, kind, quiet person,” she said. “He don’t make trouble, he was never into a gang.”
An elderly man named Tony said he knew the victim for 20 years.
“He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, I’m 100% sure he was not in any gang,” he said.
Omololu-Olunloyo has spent years advocating for murder victims and their families, while urging people to break the silence so prevalent after shootings by using Crime Stoppers.
Omololu-Olunloyo has forwarded tips to the police in the past that have directly led to the solving of murders.
On Wednesday, after Clayton Wright, 42, was gunned down in her Jane-Eglinton neighbourhood, she e-mailed Toronto police Chief Bill Blair and a handful of other officers warning of “imminent threats” to numerous people in Scarborough.
“I’ve been contacted by four separate people telling me they have been threatened,” Omololu-Olunloyo said.
“You will be sprayed and rinsed this weekend if you talk to police,” she said, quoting an e-mail sent to one of those people.
“I will kill your family if you snitch,” another person was warned.
Omololu-Olunloyo said one message claimed “we are the new Galloway Boys,” which she believes to be an indication Monday’s mass shooting was gang-related.
The Galloway Boys, an east-end Toronto gang, were virtually dismantled by police with Project Pathfinder in 2007.
But some media reports suggest Monday’s mass shooting may have been the result of a power struggle between the few older gang members who remained on the street and new members.
While Omololu-Olunloyo doubts the shooting was an intra-gang battle, she has yet to hear any other street gangs mentioned, and said the violence appears to have been fueled by social media.
Omololu-Olunloyo said young black men often post rap videos online, spouting off against rivals, and she believes that is what may have sparked Monday’s violence.