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Ahmed Hassan: Eaton Centre shooting victim was targeted
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Dalmar Gure, Hiiraan Online
Toronto Police Handout: Ahmed Hassan
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(HOL) - Toronto police have released the name of the one victim who was killed in the brazen mall shooting at the Eaton Centre Saturday evening. 23 year old Ahmed Hassan was killed instantly when a gunman opened fire in a crowded food court; seven others were injured including a 13 year old boy who was shot in the head.
The alleged shooter, Christopher Husbands, 23, turned himself in to 52 Division early Monday morning accompanied by his lawyer and made a brief court appearance Monday. He faces a slew of charges including first degree murder and six counts of attempted murder.
Toronto Police Det. Sgt. Brian Borg said “There is no evidence of this being gang related” despite that both the victim and the shooter are both known gang members, possibly part of the same gang. Police believe that it was a targeted shooting and not a random act of violence but the motive for the attack is still unclear.
A public-housing official from Regent Park claims the attack was retribution for a stabbing that took place on Feb.28. He said that Ahmed Hassan and several others allegedly participated by forcibly bounding Mr. Husbands with duct tape, stabbing him and robbing him of 450$.
According to the same person, on May 28 a reprisal shooting occurred outside of Mr. Hassan’s Regent Park apartment that forced him to move out and live with friends in Alexandra Park.
A separate shooting that occurred just before the Eaton Centre attack is being investigated by Police to see if there are any connections between the two incidents.
At the time of his death, Ahmed Hassan was facing cocaine trafficking charges in Fort McMurray, Alta., when he was arrested along with five other people in January 2010.
One of his co-accused, 19 year old Abdinasir Dirie was gunned down in an apartment 3 months later. Mr. Dirie’s father, Abdul Kadir Ali told CBC news that he was a suspect in his sons murder.
This is not the first time gunfire terrorized shoppers at the Eaton Centre. In 2005, Jane Creba was the victim of gang shoot out on Boxing Day, just north of where Saturday’s shooting took place. Four men were convicted in that gunfight.
The shooting brings to light the rising occurrence of gun-crime in Toronto which has seen a recent spike this year. In 2012, there have been 133 victims from 111 shootings, up 40 percent from the same time last year; a statistic that has many worried about another “summer of the gun”.
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