A young man was shot in the abdomen and leg last Thursday after three bullets were fired inside Osgoode Subway Station during the mid-morning rush.
Within minutes, police from the city’s Emergency Task Force and 52 division arrived at the station’s entrance at University and Queen Street. Police closed a section of the north-south line for four hours to search for the weapon used and to question witnesses.
No weapon has been found.
According to reports, the victim was shot following an argument that erupted as a group of young men exited a southbound train.
Detective David Barwell, who has been following the case, told The Varsity the victim had seen the shooter before, but does not know his identity.
“We know the guy was targeted,” said Barwell. “My hunch is that it is gang-related.”
The 19-year-old victim was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital and released the same day after undergoing surgery for non-life-threatening injuries.
Late Thursday, police released a security-camera photo of the suspect. He is described as being in his early- to mid-20s, a light-skinned black man, and about six feet tall with a medium build.
“Lots of people saw the incident and they certainly cooperated enough to say that the picture released is definitely the guy who pulled the trigger,” said Barwell.
There are about 10,000 security cameras throughout the city’s transit system, but most don’t cover subway platforms.
The TTC is boosting its security by mounting more cameras inside stations. Beginning this fall, subway cars, buses, and streetcars will also be equipped with video surveillance.
Is extra security worth the added cost?
“I would pay more to use public transportation if that meant stations would be safer,” says Regina Cho, a U of T student and TTC rider.
Barwell cautioned against overreacting to the isolated shooting, saying the city and the TTC are safe.
“This was an incident between two individuals that could have happened anywhere. Toronto is a very safe city and our subway system is very safe. We have transit security and they are able to deal with any problems that arise.”
No arrests have been made in connection to the shooting. Additional video footage of the suspect walking in Downsview station was released on Friday. Police have received several tips pointing to one individual’s involvement, but according to Detective Barwell, “we can’t call him a person of interest yet, just someone we are going to have to look at.”
Police are urging anyone with information about Thursday’s shooting to call 416-808-5200 or Crime Stoppers 416-222-TIPS (8477).