Peel Regional police are turning to the public for assistance in identifying a man alleged to have attempted murder using a concealed crossbow while appearing to make a home delivery.
Police have released surveillance footage in a bid to identify the suspect of what they are calling a targeted attack. In the video from the evening of Nov. 7, 2018, a man wearing a distinctive ball cap and hoodie holds the front of a large cardboard box with one gloved hand, the other hidden behind the package. He is standing in the front entrance of a home on Bayberry Drive in Mississauga before the video cuts to him running away as the door slams shut.
Those moments edited out nearly killed the homeowner.
“She’ll be in a recovery phase for the rest of her life,” Det. Sgt. Jim Kettles said during a media availability. “The injuries she sustained were absolutely devastating – it involved damage to a lot of her internal organs.
“Her life will never be the same.”
The Monday press conference revealed new details several months after the attack.
Emergency services responded to the 44-year-old woman’s 911 call to find her suffering life-threatening injuries. She was transported to a trauma centre and spent several months in hospital.
Police said that the suspect shot the victim in the chest with an arrow launched from a crossbow inside the box after a brief conversation. The woman, who has been co-operating with police, did not recognize the man but based on comments he made to her, investigators believe the attack was premeditated and targeted. Det. Sgt. Kettles did not reveal the substance of what the man said.
At the press conference, police brought a camouflage crossbow believed to be similar to the one in the attack. The arrow is used to hunt large game such as moose or deer and “inflict the maximum amount of damage possible,” according to the press release.
“There’s absolutely no question in our mind that the intent in this particular case was that the victim was not to have survived this attack,” Det. Sgt. Kettles said.
Crossbows 500 millimetres or less in length are prohibited by law but there are no licensing restrictions on weapons such as the one purportedly used.
“Anybody over the age of 18 can purchase one of these weapons at any sporting-goods store that happen to carry them,” Det. Sgt. Kettles said.
Investigators have not ruled out that the man may have been hired to carry out the attack.
“We don’t know at this point how many people may have been involved in orchestrating this,” Det. Sgt. Kettles said.
Police are also searching for information on a dark-coloured pickup truck that may have been used as a getaway vehicle, arriving in the neighbourhood minutes before and fleeing minutes after the attack. They are still attempting to establish if the suspect was accompanied by anyone else.
The day following the attack, forensic investigators searched the house and collected evidence including an arrow believed to have injured the woman as well as surveillance footage of the suspect and incident.
“We are confident with assistance from the public and with current facial-recognition technology we will bring those responsible for this attack to justice,” Peel Regional Police Supt. Heather Raymore said.
Det. Sgt. Kettles said police were supporting the victim and that she was in a place of safety.