Surveillance cameras in a Regent Park high-rise weren't working over the weekend, robbing police of valuable images of a shooting that left two teenagers dead. In fact, officers aren't even sure how many people were involved in gunning down 15-year-old Sealand White and Jermaine Derby, 19, in the early morning hours Saturday.
Around 2 a.m., the pair were leaving a party at the building on Whiteside Place, just off Dundas Street East. When the doors of the elevator opened at the lobby, they were confronted by their attackers.
Both men were hit as they tried to escape. Mr. Derby rushed through the front doors and out to the parking lot, where he collapsed and died. Mr. White fled in the elevator, stumbling out at the sixth floor. He died later in St. Michael's Hospital.
There have been no arrests in the killings, and the motive is unknown.
The deaths marked a reversal for the neighbourhood, which is in the midst of a 15-year-long revitalization process. High-rises and townhouses are being replaced by modern buildings, while new streets are being cut through the area in a bid to connect it to the rest of Toronto.
"Even after all these changes are made, still there's the same thing," said Azizur Rahman, a community advocate. Mr. Rahman said the area's newer buildings are better designed, with fewer exits for criminals to evade the police and improved surveillance of the front door.
He said programs for the area's teens and anti-gang education were needed to staunch violence in the area.