Two Canadian-Somali men were shot to death overnight in a notorious part of west-end Toronto.
Suleiman Ali and Warsame Ali, both 26, were found around Jamestown Crescent, in Etobicoke, suffering obvious gunshot wounds. Both were pronounced dead at the scene, only steps from Greenholme Middle Junior School.
Both men are from Vaughan, police said. They are not related.
Abdifatah Warsame, who co-founded a mentorship program for Canadian-Somali youth in Toronto, said both men are from the city’s Somali community.
They are the fifth and sixth Canadian-Somali men to be killed in Toronto since early June of this year – a stark number that has left parents and community leaders reeling. All of the victims were young men and many, like Suleiman Ali and Warsame Ali, were shot and left for dead in residential areas on the outskirts of the city.
“It’s out of control,” Mr. Warsame said in an interview on Tuesday. “At this point, we don’t care what people say about us in the media … but I think just like any other Canadians, we want the government to intervene.”
Parents and community leaders held meetings throughout the summer in a bid to understand why so many young men have been killed – and what they could do to help keep them safe. They have also lobbied federal and provincial politicians for more programming and services to help young people get through school and find good jobs.
Early on Tuesday morning, Toronto Police Service spokesman Constable Victor Kwong said that the complaint was called in by a woman who heard gunshots at about 1:20 in the morning.
“She looked out and observed two males on the ground, not moving,” he said. “She also observed a third male, fleeing on foot.”
Police are seeking the person spotted fleeing, but it was too early to know if there would be other suspects. They described him as about 5-foot-10, black, and said he was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt with a hood.
Suleiman Ali and Warsame Ali’s deaths come just over a week after another Canadian-Somali man was found dead in a residential Scarborough neighbourhood. Police believe Abdulaziz Farah, 28, was shot by someone who later abandoned Mr. Farah’s car in a parking lot about eight kilometers away.
The Jamestown Crescent area, often referred to as Doomstown, is well known to police as the scene of numerous shootings and other crimes.