Toronto police are searching for suspects after an early morning shooting on the Ryerson campus that has left one man dead.
Police have identified victim Shmar Parris, 25, who was later pronounced dead in hospital. A Toronto Police Services press release indicates that Parris was shot at Mutual and Gould streets just steps away from the International Living and Learning Centre (ILLC).
Constable Victor Kwong said police were called to the scene at 2:21 a.m after witnesses heard the sound of multiple gunshots. Shots were fired after an altercation between the passengers of a black Chevrolet Malibu and a light-coloured sport utility vehicle, police said.
“I believe it to be a drive-by,” Det. Sgt. Steve Ryan told a media scrum Friday morning.
Following the gunshots, police say Parris fled the scene in the bullet-riddled Chevrolet Malibu. CP24 reports that police believe the victim was being chased by the suspects.
Soon after, the car crashed into a pole at Parliament and Carlton Streets. Police say that Parris was found in the driver’s seat with multiple bullet wounds.
A woman and man were also in the vehicle with Parris. The woman was also injured in the shooting. She made her way to a nearby hospital where she remains. The other passenger did not suffer any serious injuries.
Police are looking for the light-coloured SUV seen driving southbound on Parliament Street at 2:30 a.m, saying it was damaged on its right side. Kwong said the car was seen fleeing “erratically” westbound on the Gardiner Expressway.
The streets have since re-opened, after being shut off for most of the morning.
Cote Parent, first-year social worker student, said he heard four “loud” shots from his 10th-floor room in Pitman Hall.
“I thought at first it might have been fireworks or something (with) how consistent it was. But then I heard police cars,” he said. “I thought it was kind of startling and unexpected.”
He said that his whole floor heard the noise and started discussing it on his floor’s Facebook page.
“The (Resident Advisor) just stated that, ‘I’m surprised that you guys are all up this late,'” Parent said.
Tanya Fermin-Poppleton, manager of security and emergency services, said that campus security rushed to the scene after they received reports of what sounded like gunshots.
“We safely attended the area to meet with Toronto Police and help with their investigation as best we could,” she said. “Essentially we ensured our students in residence stayed in their respective buildings while Toronto Police did their investigation.”
According to Det. Sgt. Ryan, the victim was known to the police for a “high-risk criminal lifestyle.”
DJ Folk, a friend of Parris and rap producer, told The Ryersonian that Parris was a YouTube rapper, called “Murda Marz.” He said that he worked with Parris in a music video and Parris also had a few CDs out.
“(He was a) great guy, good heart,” he said. “Just a hardworking individual whose life was taken way, way too soon.”
Rocco Zoccoli, a resident of ILLC, said a shooting so close to home makes him nervous.
“Knowing that somebody passed away just down the street from where I am, it’s kind of scary and doesn’t make me feel safe,” he said.
But not everyone feels this way.