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Ryerson has provided the Toronto police with closed-circuit video from street cameras as the investigation continues into last Friday’s fatal shooting on campus.
Tanya Fermin-Poppleton, manager of security and emergency services, confirmed the university’s aid in the investigation.
Ryerson security did not rush to the scene itself at Mutual and Gould streets, Fermin-Poppleton said, because they lacked the training and equipment to deal with a shooting. But she said security kept students in lockdown in the International Living / Learning Centre (ILLC) building until police had given the all-clear. The streets were shut off for most of the morning.
Shmar Parris, also known as YouTube rapper Murda Marz, was a victim of the drive-by shooting in the early hours on April 4. He was later pronounced dead in hospital. Police are still searching for suspects in their investigation.
President Sheldon Levy said that Ryerson can be at risk to these incidents because it is an urban campus.
“It happens very, very seldom and I think, we always have to keep in mind that the campus is a safe campus and these episodes will happen,” he said. “But they happen much, much more in empty parking lots than they do in crowded streets.”
Parris would have turned 26 in May. He lived in the campus area. He had won a grant through MuchMusic and was scheduled to shoot a video later this week that would be aired on MuchMusic, according to his cousin, Jessica Smith.
“He was popular, loving, caring and he put everyone’s feelings above his own,” said Smith, a Ryerson social work graduate. “He was just a great person to be around, really charismatic.
“Everybody’s taking it really hard. We’ve had a lot of people from (our extended family) and the community come up to us and share memories they had of him, about how kind he was and the things he used to do,” said Smith. “There was a candlelit vigil at Carlton and Parliament this past Friday and the family is planning a funeral service for later this week.”
Police haven’t released any new information since Friday. Investigators are looking for the light-coloured SUV seen driving “erratically” southbound on Parliament Street at 2:30 a.m and said it was damaged on its right side.
Const. Victor Kwong told The Ryersonian that Parris was shot at around 2:20 a.m. Friday morning, steps away from the ILLC. A man and woman were in the car with Parris, Kwong said.
The woman was injured and is in hospital and the other passenger did not suffer serious injuries.
The victim was known to the police for a “high-risk criminal lifestyle,” Det. Sgt. Steve Ryan told media on Friday.
Parris fled the scene of the shooting in a bullet-riddled black Chevrolet Malibu, police said. Moments later, the car crashed into a pole at Parliament and Carlton streets. That pole has since been turned into a memorial covered in flowers and signs, where the candlelight vigil was held Friday night.
This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on April 9, 2014.