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Sultan Dailey, 20, was found shot to death in Parkdale on Monday, Oct. 4.

A struggle for control of the drug trade in a west-end Toronto neighbourhood led to the shooting death of a young man early Monday morning, police said Wednesday.

Sultan Dailey, 20, spent Sunday evening at a nightclub in the entertainment district. Sometime after midnight, he left with one or two friends and may have returned to his Parkdale home, near Queen Street and Lansdowne Avenue. Shortly after, he went out to the Close Springhurst parkette, just south of King Street, a few blocks away.

It was there that he was shot once in the head, dying instantly. Several hours later, passers-by found the body lying at the western edge of the park, on a footpath leading to a pair of apartment buildings on Jameson Avenue.

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The parkette is a hotspot for drug deals and Mr. Dailey himself was known to officers as a dealer, police said.

"We strongly believe that Mr. Dailey's murder is directly related to drugs, drug trafficking and control of the drug trade in the Parkdale area," said Detective Renata Louhikari, one of the homicide-squad officers leading the investigation.

While police are still trying to connect the dots and identify the players in the local drug trade. Detective Louhikari said she is looking at other recent shootings in the area to see if any of them are connected to Mr. Dailey's slaying.

She also pleaded with the friends who left the club with him to speak with police and help them retrace his exact movements in the hours leading up to his death.

No arrests have been made.

Within hours of his death, Mr. Dailey's friends took to Facebook groups to mourn him.

"I love the guy, he was so nice to people," wrote one man. "He was the best guy I ever knew."

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Others appealed for witnesses to contact police and help them solve the crime.

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