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Police arrest two men in fatal shooting of rapper

Police have arrested two men in connection with the shooting death of a Toronto rapper and linked the case to a series of drive-by shootings in Scarborough.

Anthony Spencer, 23, was shot and killed at a recording studio early in the morning of Jan. 21.

Detective Sergeant Gary Giroux told a news conference on Tuesday that the men were arrested during the past week for unrelated offences, but police believe they were involved in Mr. Spencer's death. They are still in custody, he said.

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Police also released surveillance footage showing a young woman who was at the underground recording studio the morning Mr. Spencer was killed. She arrived with two men shortly after 12:30 a.m. and stayed for several hours.

Just after 4:30 a.m., police said the woman used her cellphone to call a taxi company. In an audio recording of the call, police said a single gunshot can be heard before the operator begins speaking. When the taxi arrived, the woman left with two men, police said.

Police are appealing for help identifying the woman. They described her as five feet tall, about 100 pounds, and black, with a light complexion. In the surveillance footage, she wore her dark hair in a pony tail and was dressed in tight jeans with a hooded sweatshirt and a jacket.

"I'll have to assume by her silence and by the actions that I see on the video of her failing to come forward, I will make the investigative assumption that she was a party to the offence of murder," Sgt. Giroux said on Tuesday.

He asked the woman to seek legal advice and contact police.

Police said they have connected Mr. Spencer's death to three drive-by shootings that occurred in Malvern last weekend, and they believe all four incidents were targeted. "These are not random events," said Superintendent Kathryn Martin.

However, she added there is no apparent link between the drive-by shootings and the death of Christopher Thompson, a barber who was shot last week in the Scarborough neighbourhood while cutting a client's hair.

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Police expressed frustration at the difficulty in convincing witnesses to speak with them. "This is a vicious cycle," Supt. Martin said. "We have witnesses that don't come forward, and ultimately those that are responsible for the gun violence on our streets are left on our streets to further victimize the public."

With a report from The Canadian Press.

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