File photo — THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

A 20-year-old man is facing dozens of charges, including seven counts of attempted murder, in what police describe as a string of unprovoked, random shootings in Toronto that narrowly missed being fatal.

Toronto police said Tuesday that the man, who is currently in custody, allegedly worked his way through neighbourhoods in the northwest corner of the city over the past two weeks, opening fire on a total of seven victims ranging in age from four to 47.

None of the victims were known to each other or the accused, said Supt. Ron Taverner, describing the case as “disturbing” but saying the force is breathing a sigh of relief that things didn’t turn out worse.

“We’re lucky that we’re not dealing with potentially seven homicides or more,” Taverner said in a telephone interview. “I wish we could say we had a motive, but we don’t.”

Taverner said the string of shootings began on Jan. 9 as two teenagers were entering a residential building.

Taverner alleged that the accused, 20-year-old Adam Abdi of Brampton, Ont., fired multiple shots at the 19-year-old man and 15-year-old girl as they stood in the hallway. The girl was not hurt, while the man sustained undisclosed injuries, he said.

One week later on Jan. 16, Taverner alleged Abdi struck again as a 47-year-old man was standing on the sidewalk outside his home. Police allege Abdi walked up and shot him before fleeing the scene.

The next shooting took place five days later as a 20-year-old man was walking past a vehicle in which Abdi was allegedly seated. Police said he came out of the car shooting at the alleged victim before driving away from the scene.

The following day, Taverner said a 35-year-old man and his four-year-old daughter were sitting in their vehicle after dropping someone off when the next alleged attack came.

Taverner alleged Abdi exited a nearby vehicle and fired multiple close-range shots at the father and daughter before fleeing. Neither the father nor daughter were hurt.

One hour later, however, a 19-year-old man was less fortunate, police said. Taverner alleged Abdi drove up beside the teen as he walked down the street, rolled down the window and opened fire. The 19-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries and remains in hospital, Taverner said.

“It’s mind-boggling, quite frankly,” Taverner said. “We haven’t been able to determine any motive whatsoever that these are other than random shootings.”

Taverner said the weekend shootings produced some information about the suspect’s vehicle, which allowed police to arrest Abdi at his home on Monday.

Abdi is facing a total of 48 charges, including seven counts of attempted murder.

Taverner said police are investigating potential links to other shootings. He noted that Abdi’s arrest allows the force some breathing room to conduct their investigation.

“We can go about our business in investigating previous cases now and not be so concerned that this individual is going to be out shooting and possibly killing other people,” he said.

Abdi appeared in a Toronto courtroom on Monday.

Michelle McQuigge , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Langley community dinner for ‘all walks of life’

Langley local Stacey Wakelin is hosting a community dinner that caters to everyone.

Police dog helps apprehend ‘prolific’ property crime offender near Surrey, Langley border

Douglas Holmes, 47, has been charged with break and enter of a business on the Langley Bypass

VIDEO: Burglars bust windows and loot Brookswood stores

Thieves have hit two Brookswood stores in commercial burglaries in the last month.

COMMUTER ALERT: Serious pedestrian crash closes Pacific Highway

Traffic along 176th Street, 4th to 8th Avenue, is blocked while Mounties continue to investigate.

LETTER: Canada should not be selling weapons abroad

A Langley man is critical of Canada for selling arms that are being used to kill civilians.

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, advocate says

Teens say positive connections with adults key to recovery

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Most Read