Annex shooting injures lawyer, suspect

The Special Investigations Unit has invoked its mandate after yesterday’s brazen Annex shooting. A plainclothes Halton police officer shot a suspect moments after the man shot prominent criminal defence lawyer Randall Barrs.

The Annex shootings, which occurred at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in front of 23 Bedford Rd., Barrs’ office, sent the 66-year-old lawyer to hospital with serious injuries.

Witnesses are reported to have seen a man in a construction vest exit a vehicle and approach Barrs as he was outside his office. The man shot Barrs several times in the legs, then fled.

According to the SIU, plainclothes officers from Halton Regional Police were conducting surveillance in the area. Those officers moved in and boxed in the suspect’s vehicle across the street from Barrs’s office. One officer fired his gun at the suspect.

The 51-year-old suspect, who has not yet been named, was rushed to hospital following the Annex shooting and underwent surgery. He is listed in serious condition.

Barrs is in a different hospital recovering from his injuries.

Bedford Road was closed from Bloor Street West to Lowther Avenue immediately after the shooting, which occurred just outside of posh Yorkville shopping areas. Bedford Road reopened until shortly before 8 a.m. today.

Barrs has been practising law for more than 35 years. He has been involved in several high profile cases, including the Barrie-area Molsons Brewery marijuana grow-op, dozens of homicide cases, and most recently has been defending suppliers of hydroponic grow-op equipment.

The SIU investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.