Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

The spate of Toronto shooting deaths that has confounded policymakers continues with two deaths in a span of about 24 hours.

The first, early Sunday morning, claimed a life in a neighbourhood that, although historically troubled by gang violence, had been undergoing a period of relative calm.

Around 3:20 a.m., a lone gunman approached three friends drinking alcohol in a courtyard outside a Driftwood Avenue apartment complex, one of the many densely populated towers near the intersection of Jane Street and Finch Avenue in the city’s north end.

Story continues below advertisement

The gunman fired, killing 25-year-old Karim Hirani.

Read also: As gun violence spikes, Toronto faces a reckoning on the root causes of tragedy

The slaying is the 26th homicide by gunshot in Toronto in 2018, a year that has also seen an increase in shooting injuries, with 79 such victims. This time in 2017, 16 people had been killed by gunfire and 70 injured. Several of the fatal shootings in Toronto over the past three months have taken place in downtown neighbourhoods teeming with tourists, diners and pedestrian traffic.

Karim Hirani, 25, of Toronto, is the latest victim of the city’s spate on gun violence in 2018.

Katrina Arrogante

The Jane and Finch intersection where Mr. Hirani was killed has had a reputation for violence – a 2007 Globe and Mail headline referred to it as “Canada’s toughest neighbourhood” − but had not accounted for any of Toronto’s 2018 shooting fatalities until Sunday. There hadn’t been a death by shooting in the neighbourhood since February, 2017, according to Toronto police data.

“We have been in a lull,” said Rev. Sky Starr, a long-time resident of the Jane and Finch neighbourhood and trauma counsellor who works with grieving family members in the aftermath of such shootings.

Toronto police detective Mike Carbone said that investigators do not believe, at least based on what they currently know, that Sunday’s shooting has anything to do with Toronto’s other recent shooting incidents.

“Right now, we don’t see any connection, but we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t at least consider the possibilities of there being connections with other homicides or other shootings – in this neighbourhood or other neighbourhoods,” Det. Carbone said.

Story continues below advertisement

Police believe Mr. Hirani was targeted by the gunman, who drove to the scene and parked his car nearby before firing on Mr. Hirani.

One of the two friends drinking with Mr. Hirani fled the scene, while the other stayed, Det. Carbone said. He urged the friend that ran from the scene to contact Toronto police or Crime Stoppers. “My appeal is to that person to come forward as well,” he said.

Det. Carbone described the gunman as a male in his 20s wearing a hooded sweatshirt with dark pants.

The second shooting came in the north end of Toronto, when a man was shot several times. Police are looking for a silver vehicle in connection.

With files from The Canadian Press

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies