Skip to main content

It's just before midnight in a Rexdale parking lot. Four men argue loudly inside a car. One is Segun Farquharson, 24, an amateur hockey player and part-time courier.

In five minutes, a bullet will tear through Mr. Farquharson's heart. He will die, becoming part of what provincial leaders call an alarming wave of violence against black men.

But in the last moments of his life, Mr. Farquharson will use his cellphone to secretly record the voices of the men believed to have killed him.

Story continues below advertisement

"Saved message. Thursday, [May 17]11:56 p.m."

Before being lured into the car, Mr. Farquharson had watched a Raptors basketball game on television in his nearby housing complex. This is his neighbourhood, on Duncanwoods Drive near Islington Avenue and Finch Avenue West. He knows these men: the driver pleading for calm, his friend sitting on the passenger side in front and the man beside him in the back who is swearing and threatening him.

"This ain't no negotiation!" shouts the man in the back seat.

This is a robbery. The driver and the man in the back seat are armed and they think Mr. Farquharson is carrying a lot of cash. Mr. Farquharson says he doesn't have the money but could fetch it for them. He sounds desperate.

"Yo, let me go get it for them. I swear to God, man. I'll pay for it out of my own pocket and get it for them. I swear to God."

Mr. Farquharson knows he's in trouble. He has dialled his own voice mail and for exactly two minutes, until the digital recording stops automatically, the phone captures almost every word. Police will later enhance the acoustics and analyze the sound to determine the location of each speaker.

"Yo, let me fucking kill you, dude," says the man beside Mr. Farquharson. "I'll kill you."

Story continues below advertisement

The recording is a jumble of voices, wheedling, cajoling and menacing.

"Kick him out the door. I'm gonna fucking kill this [inaudible]" says the same man.

"No, let's get this money," replies the driver.

At one point, Mr. Farquharson pleads for his life. "I swear, B[rother] I swear. Just don't do this to me, man."

The recording ends just before neighbours called 911 at 12:01 a.m. May 18 to report hearing gunfire. Mr. Farquharson was found dead, shot once in the back.

When police played an audiotape publicly for the first time at a news conference yesterday, Mr. Farquharson's words made his mother, Julia, frown, take off her glasses and wipe her eyes.

Story continues below advertisement

It was the first time she'd listened to the enhanced recording, she said, and the first time she'd heard her son begging for mercy.

"That's the hardest part," Ms. Farquharson said. "If I was there, they'd have to kill me, too. I don't know how young people can have so much fire inside them and so much hurt."

Detective Ken Taylor of the homicide squad said he hopes somebody will recognize the voices in the recording, which can be downloaded from the police Web site at

"This is the first time in my 10 years in homicide that we've ever had a recording like this," Det. Taylor said.

Mr. Farquharson's friend escaped just before the shooting, Det. Taylor said, but he's unable to identify the killers. A 24-hour hotline (416-808-3125) has been set up to handle tips.

Mr. Farquharson is one of 18 people who have been shot to death in Toronto this year. Like him, most of the victims have been young and black and their killers have not been found.

Story continues below advertisement

Around the time of the news conference, Ontario's NDP Leader Howard Hampton held one of his own that pointed a finger at what was said to be a common culprit in the shootings.

While many members of Toronto's black community have discussed the shootings in terms of black-on-black violence, Mr. Hampton suggested yesterday that systemic institutional racism is to blame for the deaths.

The shootings are the result of poverty, hopelessness and other barriers that racist institutions have constructed, Mr. Hampton said.

The NDP Leader put forward a plan that asks all levels of government to help black businesses and workers, to improve access to cultural centres and affordable housing and to make police and schools more sensitive to black issues.

Mr. Farquharson's mother said she wants witnesses to call police. The final moments This conversation was recorded secretly by Segun Farquharson on his cellphone's voice mail May 17. Mr. Farquharson and an associate were seated in a car in Rexdale with two men who were trying to rob them of a large sum of money. Mr. Farquharson and his associate tell the men they don't have the cash, but offer to fetch it. ASSOCIATE: Why can't I go? Why can't I go?

FARQUHARSON: I swear to God, I'm gonna go. I wouldn't lie to you, B[rother]

Story continues below advertisement

ROBBER #1: Why can't he go?

FARQUHARSON: I swear, I wouldn't lie to you, man.

ROBBER #2: No, listen. Call the dude on the phone right now and tell him you're coming.

FARQUHARSON: I'm gonna go get it.

ROBBER #2: Shut up!

ROBBER #1: Call the dude on the phone and tell him you're coming for it, man.

Story continues below advertisement

FARQUHARSON: I'm gonna go get it.

ROBBER #2: Shut up, I said!

ROBBER #1: Call the dude on the phone. Let him go get it. Call the dude on the phone . . . Junior I/A.

ROBBER #2: What're you doing to me? What you doing? What you doing?

ASSOCIATE: I don't have no ... money.

ROBBER #2: What are you fucking doing?

ASSOCIATE: Please, man. Please.

ROBBER #2: What are you fucking doing? I'll knock you right ... What are you doing? (Inaudible) What you fucking doing?

UNIDENTIFIABLE: Please (Inaudible).

ROBBER #2: Yo, let me fucking kill you dude. I'll kill you.

FARQUHARSON: B.

ASSOCIATE: I'm trying to go somewhere with my [basket]all.

ROBBER #1: Huh?

ASSOCIATE: I'm trying to go somewhere with my ball.

ROBBER #2: Let me kill this B.

ASSOCIATE: I'm trying to play ball, B.

UNIDENTIFIABLE: (Inaudible) right now. (Inaudible).

ROBBER #1: Hey, let him go get it right now.

ROBBER #2: Yo, guy, I could have done had it already!

UNIDENTIFIABLE: Wait.

ROBBER #2: Let him go get it. Where is it?

UNIDENTIFIABLE: Wait.

FARQUHARSON: Yo, I don't ... yo, B, just cool nuh man! Yo, B! Yo! I swear I'm gonna go get it for you, man!

ROBBER #1: Pick up the phone (inaudible).

ASSOCIATE: Hold on.

FARQUHARSON: I swear I'm gonna go get it for you. I swear to God, I'm gonna go get it!

UNIDENTIFIABLE: No, I don't.

FARQUHARSON: Let me just go get it for you, man. Swear to you.

ROBBER #1: Whose phone is this?

ASSOCIATE: I don't know (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIABLE: (Inaudible).

FARQUHARSON: Honest to God, man.

UNIDENTIFIABLE: Yo. (Inaudible).

FARQUHARSON: I wouldn't fuck you, B.

UNIDENTIFIABLE: (Inaudible).

FARQUHARSON: I swear to God, I'm gonna go get it for you, man, seen ...

ASSOCIATE: Segun please, please.

UNIDENTIFIABLE: I don't deal with (inaudible) man.

UNIDENTIFIABLE: C'mon, man. C'mon, man. Don't deal with (inaudible).

FARQUHARSON: I'm gonna go get it for them, B.

ASSOCIATE: So where is it?

FARQUHARSON: I'm gonna go get it for them, man.

ASSOCIATE: Where is it?

FARQUHARSON: Yo, B, just let me go get it for them, man. Yo, let me go get it for them. I swear to God, man. I'll pay for it out of my own pocket and get it for them. I swear to God (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIABLE: No.

FARQUHARSON: I swear, B. I swear. Just don't do this to me, man.

ROBBER #2: Brethren (inaudible) fuck me up B.

FARQUHARSON: B, I just ... c'mon, man. What?

ROBBER #2: Don't try that, B.

UNIDENTIFIABLE: Hold on. Yo, listen, man.

ASSOCIATE: Give me just ...

ROBBER #2: Hold on! Hold on! What does he have in his pocket? Hold on.

FARQUHARSON: Holy fuck, man! C'mon, man. You know that already, man. Yo, B.

ASSOCIATE: Shuggs just give him it, man. Please, bro.

FARQUHARSON: I don't have nothing on me, B.

ROBBER #1: What do you mean you don't ...

ROBBER #1: Tell him to go get it. Tell ...

FARQUHARSON: I'll just go get it for you.

ASSOCIATE: Let me go get.

ROBBER #1: Let him go get it right now, B.

FARQUHARSON: I'm gonna go get it, man.

ROBBER #2: Kick him out the door. Kick him out the door. I'm gonna fucking kill this (inaudible).

ROBBER #1: No, let's get this money. Let's get this money, man. (Inaudible).

ROBBER #1: ... just get this money.

ROBBER #2: I'm gonna kick him out the door.

FARQUHARSON: C'mon, man.

ROBBER #2: Shut the fuck up! I swear ...

ROBBER #1: Yo, B. Listen, listen, listen, let him go get it. Holy.

FARQUHARSON: I'm gonna go get it, man.

ROBBER #2: Yo, let me kick him out the door. ... No, no. It doesn't (inaudible).

FARQUHARSON: Let me go get the money.

ROBBER #1 Let's be straight.

ASSOCIATE: Let me go get it, man.

ROBBER #1: Huh?

ASSOCIATE: Let me go get the thing. ... No, let's go get...

ROBBER #1: Who ... whose house is it at?

FARQUHARSON: Come on, man. Let me go get it, man.

UNIDENTIFIABLE: No, I don't think so. (Inaudible) I swear.

FARQUHARSON: Yo, B, I swear to God, I'm gonna go get it, man.

ROBBER #2: No, you're not.

FARQUHARSON: Aaagh! Aaagh! Aaagh!

ROBBER #2: (Inaudible) This ain't no negotiation!

FARQUHARSON: Okay! Okay!

The message ends automatically after two minutes. Moments later, Mr. Farquharson is shot to death. His associate escapes.

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 feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter