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Canada Etobicoke shooting victims were targeted, police say

Police are looking into the background of a Toronto couple to find out why they were targeted in a brazen shooting outside an Etobicoke bar last week that killed 27-year-old Dianna Sandeman.

Investigators said yesterday the attack was not random and that the victims were specifically targeted. But police are struggling to find out why and say they have yet to find a link between the victims and the lone gunman, who remains at large.

"The investigation to date is focusing on the background of both victims," said Detective Sergeant Terry Wark. "We are appealing to anyone who may have had business dealings with either the deceased or her boyfriend, or any contact with them at social events."

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The deadly attack happened just after 2 a.m. on July 5, one week agoas Ms. Sandeman and her boyfriend, 32-year-old Michael Dennett, left the Europa Café and Sports Bar on Browns Line, south of Horner Avenue, in Etobicoke.

As the couple got into Mr. Dennett's two-door BMW, a man pointed a gun through the partially cracked passenger-side window and opened fire. Ms. Sandeman was shot in the head and killed; Mr. Dennett suffered injuries to his abdomen and leg. The funeral for Ms. Sandeman was held Sunday in Milton, where she grew up.

Police say they aren't sure how the killer knew the couple were at the bar, whether he followed them there or was tipped off.

"I believe the suspect was waiting outside," said Det. Sgt. Wark, who said he couldn't rule out the possibility of a murder-for-hire plot. "It's not as if there was any plan on them being at this bar. We feel they were targeted and this is certainly not a random shooting."

Police are investigating whether Mr. Dennett's criminal record had anything to do with the attack: He served time in jail earlier this year, after an assault conviction.

They are also looking into why Mr. Dennett, who is unemployed, was driving a BMW.

Witnesses said the killer fled the scene in a grey or silver car, possibly a 2005 or 2006 Nissan Maxima or Pontiac Sunfire. He was described as dark-skinned, 6 feet tall, younger than 25, thin, with straight black hair to his collar and the lower part in a white crocheted net.

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