Hours after charging a 19-year-old alleged gang member with murder in connection with the Danzig Street shootings, Toronto Police arrested another teen late Thursday, who will also face murder charges.
The latest suspect is 17 years old and his name cannot be published under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
He is the third person to be charged with murder in connection with the Scarborough street party in July that turned into the worst mass shooting in the city’s history.
Police have said there were possibly four shooters during the gunfight.
In addition to the two counts of second-degree murder, he will also be charged with one count of attempted murder, one count of recklessly discharging a firearm and 22 counts of aggravated assault.
The 17-year-old was arrested at 10 p.m., hours after similar murder charges were filed against Nahom Tsegazab, an alleged associated of the Galloway Boys gang.
The violence, which police believe stemmed from long-time rivalry between two local gangs, left two innocent party-goers dead and 23 other people wounded.
Shyanne Charles, 14, of Toronto and Joshua Yasay, a 23-year-old barber shop owner and aspiring police officer from Ajax, were killed.
“This investigation is far from over,” Staff Inspector Greg McLane told reporters Thursday, saying there are at least one or two more shooters at large.
“I’m confident that there would be further charges down the road. We just have to reach a further threshold.”
Earlier this month, police released composite sketches of two men wanted for questioning in the investigation. Since then, one has been identified, questioned and released without charge.
Investigators, however, are still asking the public to help identify the second man, who has a scar under his left eye and goes by the street name “Juvi.”
Second-degree murder usually implies that while the slaying wasn’t planned, there was intent to kill.
“During the event, he conducted himself in a certain way that leads us to have reasonable grounds that he committed two counts of second-degree murder,” Staff Insp. McLane said of Mr. Tsegazab.
Police allege he is an associate of the Galloway Boys gang who goes by the street name “Gifted.” He was wounded in the shooting and initially charged with reckless discharge of a firearm.
Police have said members of the Galloway Boys invited themselves to the event, with Mr. Tsegazab going on Twitter to entice others with the promise of free Hennessy cognac.
In the evening, the Galloway Boys began doing “G checks” – verifying where partygoers came from.
This led to a confrontation with a group who came from the Malvern neighbourhood – historically enemy turf of the Galloway Boys – police say.
“There may have been some sense of territorial attitude about what was going on and who could attend and who couldn’t,” Staff Insp. McLane said Thursday.
The Malvern visitors were ordered to leave but later returned with reinforcements, sparking a shootout between up to six gunmen in a crowded courtyard jammed with more than 100 partygoers. The gunbattle erupted around 10:30 p.m.
Police later recovered five guns and 25 shell casings at the scene, which are being scrutinized for DNA and ballistic evidence.
Earlier this month, Shaquan Mesquito, an 18-year-old from the Malvern area also known as “Bam Bam,” was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, reckless discharge of a firearm and 23 counts of aggravated assault.
Mr. Mesquito had been behind bars since July 27, nine days after the shooting, and was initially charged with uttering threats and possessing a .22 calibre revolver.
The Galloway Boys, or G-Way, take their name from the Kingston-Galloway neighbourhood and have been described in court cases as having waged a fierce turf war against the Malvern Crew.
In addition to the July mass shooting, police have publicly linked the gang to at least one other homicide in the area, and to seven other shootings.
Staff Insp. McLane, who heads the homicide squad, once again urged community members in and around Danzig Street to break their code of silence and help investigators.
“It’s time for people to stand up and be our eyes and ears,” he said.