Teenager Found Dead After Gunpoint Shooting

The body of an 18-year-old man was found on Wednesday near Yonge and Spadina in downtown Toronto. An autopsy determined that he had died of an apparent gunshot wound, Toronto Police said, and they…

Teenager Found Dead After Gunpoint Shooting

The body of an 18-year-old man was found on Wednesday near Yonge and Spadina in downtown Toronto. An autopsy determined that he had died of an apparent gunshot wound, Toronto Police said, and they continue to investigate. The news has sparked a heated debate in Toronto and abroad about whether police in the city’s downtown district are overreacting. Meanwhile, an independent report filed on Thursday by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission suggests that the investigation into the incident, originally led by the Toronto Police, was not thorough.

Constable Meaghan Gray of the Toronto Police Department said on Thursday that officers had responded to a “suspicious death” shortly after 9 a.m. on Wednesday, and located an 18-year-old male who had suffered a gunshot wound. She said officers did not consider the death suspicious at first, but it was later deemed suspicious by the EMS, and confirmed as such by the Forensic Pathology Unit. She also said that because of the recent rise in gun crime, officers are taking police fatalities “much more seriously.”

A Toronto newspaper has published an interview with the victim’s father, who said his son was shot in front of his father’s business on the Queen’s Quay Bridge on Thursday. “The cops stood by like chickens with their heads cut off,” the elder man, who is identified as Shi Huy Cu, said.

Mr. Cu said that his son, Mr. Lei Ba Du, had a motive for selling drugs on the street. He also said that the young man once studied computer science in Taiwan, but had lost the job there. “I just want the cops to be honest,” he said.

According to a police spokesman, the Special Investigations Unit, the province’s ombudsman for police shootings, has charged two Toronto officers with misconduct for their handling of the death investigation. Constable Blair Lekstrom and Sergeant Paul Johnston were charged with one count of failing to comply with a direct order, as well as failure to comply with their duty to remain at the scene.

The autopsy of the young man has confirmed the information that Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders had revealed on Sunday, when he said that four Toronto officers were involved in the shooting. Chief Saunders said that the man had been found outside a building on Queen’s Quay Bridge. Two members of the Special Investigations Unit are investigating this case.

The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that Chief Saunders has asked for support from Toronto Mayor John Tory to deal with the proliferation of guns in the city, which, he said, is “becoming part of the fabric of our city.”

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