Toronto Police investigators are puzzled why anyone would want to kill a 64-year-old landscaper with no criminal record at the doorstep of his tidy west-end home.
In a morning update of the city's 16th homicide of the year, Detective Sergeant Pauline Gray revealed the name of the victim, Ngoc Ngo, and divulged witness recollections of a killing that has rattled a neighbourhood that knew Mr. Ngo as a quiet family man.
Two to six white men in their early-20s showed up at Mr. Ngo's Symington Avenue home around 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, according to witness accounts provided to police.
When Mr. Ngo answered the front door in slippers, a shooter sprayed several shots into the home, killing Mr. Ngo, but missing his wife and another family member who were also inside.
"Whoever these gentlemen are, and I use that term loosely, had no regard for whether their children were in the home at that time or not," Det. Sgt. Gray said. "So, pretty dangerous fellows out there."
The men ran southwest to the northwest corner of Kingsley Avenue and Perth Avenue, where they drove off in a dark minivan.
A witness described one of the men as 5-foot-8 with a heavy build, brown hair and baggy blue jeans.
Among the well-kept brick homes along Symington Avenue, south of Davenport Road, Mr. Ngo was known as a reserved grandfather who took time to shovel snow from neighbouring sidewalks and compliment neighbours on their gardens.
One woman picking up her child from a daycare next door to Mr. Ngo's home said she often saw the Vietnamese man with his wife and several children and admired the landscaping work he did for several people in the area, where he had lived for 18 years.
"It absolutely is an execution-style hit," Det. Sgt. Gray said. "I'm having difficulty coming to a place in my investigation where a 64-year-old man living in his home in his slippers is a threat. Either [they] targeted Mr. Ngo for some perceived threat, or [they] were just careless and got the wrong person."
Police are asking for any witnesses who may have seen a dark minivan in the area at the time of the shooting.