A party at a downtown Airbnb condo turned deadly Friday night when gunfire erupted killing three young men and injuring two others.Toronto Police raced to 85 Queens Wharf Rd. — near Bathurst St. and Lake Shore Blvd. W. — around 10:20 p.m. and found victims suffering from gunshot wounds on multiple floors of the highrise condominium.The bloodshed unfolded during a “social gathering at a rented Airbnb,” according to Chief Mark Saunders, who stopped by the scene overnight.The Chief provided the following update:– Social gathering at a rented Airbnb – It is a single occurrence w/ 4 shooting victims. 3 have succumbed to their injuries/are deceased. The 4th has non-life threatening injuries. 5th was cut/injured, but was not shot. 1/2 #GO219180^ams— Toronto Police Operations (@TPSOperations) February 1, 2020He confirmed three young men were shot dead and a fourth shooting victim was taken to hospital but is expected to survive.A fifth victim suffered cuts, Saunders said.Acting Det.-Sgt. Henri Marsman, of the Homicide Unit, spoke to reporters at the scene Saturday and confirmed the deceased victims are three men aged 19, 20 and 22.He said the fourth shooting victim is a 20-year-old man and the fifth victim, who wasn’t shot, is a witness who is “cooperating with investigators.”“My understanding is that they were all there for the party,” Marsman said of the victims.The party was on the 32nd floor but Marsman wouldn’t say if the shooting happened inside the unit, in the hallway or elsewhere.He did say police are not looking for suspects.“Our investigation right now has led us to believe that we have the parties involved,” Marsman said, referring to the victims without elaborating.The triple murder marks the seventh, eighth and ninth killings in the city just one month into the new year.“The shooting overnight is, as with others, is completely unacceptable,” Mayor John Tory said in statement released Saturday.“The City’s community crisis response program has been mobilized to support the neighbourhood in the wake of this tragic incident,” he said. “These latest gun murders will not stop my determination to work with our police and all governments to combat gun violence in our city.”Eight of the nine murder victims in 2020 have been gunned down.Last year, 44 of the city’s 78 murder victims were killed by guns as Toronto endured a record high of 492 shootings and 771 shooting victims — up sharply from the 177 shootings and 242 shooting victims the city saw in 2014 before gun violence began to spike dramatically. Also in 2014, there were 58 homicide victims in the city, 27 of whom were killed by guns.That’s a stark difference from 2018 when a whopping 96 people were murdered in Toronto — 51 by guns — smashing the city’s record high of 89 murders set way back in 1991.The only year more victims have been shot dead was in 2005 — dubbed the year of the gun — when a record 52 of the city’s 80 murder victims were gunned down.
The first of two bodies is removed at the scene of a shooting from the previous night at 85 Queens Wharf Rd. In Toronto on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. Three young men were killed and two others injured when gunfire erupted during a party at an Airbnb condo at this address. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)
Toronto’s latest triple murder is also eerily similar to a 2016 gun battle that erupted between two rival street gangs during a party at a rented condo near Front St. and Blue Jays Way.While police said at the time that those involved may have been armed with as many as a dozen handguns, only one person suffered minor injuries when a bullet grazed his head.However, in the wake of that gun battle, police said two 17-year-old boys were kidnapped, tortured and held for ransom because it was believed they had tipped off a rival gang about the party.Marsman said he understands that the latest gun violence is likely “quite concerning” for residents of the Queens Wharf building.“We’re taking all reasonable steps to ensure their safety,” he said. “And if they do have any information to provide to us, we’d be very interested in knowing that.”Anyone with information regarding Friday’s triple murder is urged to call the Homicide Unit at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)[email protected] Twitter: @SunDoucette