Murder victim known to police

Benjamin Owusu Brefo was gunned down in the Beach on March 28

Toronto’s latest murder victim left a trail of crime across the GTA before being gunned down behind a low-rise apartment at 4 Kingston Rd.

Police have identified the man as 29 year old Benjamin Owusu Brefo, of no fixed address. Homicide detective Kim Gross said that he was shot in four different parts of the body.

Within hours of the Monday evening shooting police had also located the alleged perpetrator, 28 year old Haitham Abdelwahab, who was known to police. Gross said it remains to be seen how or whether the suspect and victim knew each other.

“I really don’t know, I can’t find any link between the two of them,” said Gross, who agreed with the suggestion that the incident seemed rather violent to be between two strangers. “I can’t jump to any conclusions, I’m just keeping all my doors open.”

Brefo was not the only who suffered gunshot wounds, though. Gross said the suspect was also shot in the leg before he fled the scene.

A gun was found at the scene, which Gross said she believes belonged to the victim. She also said she couldn’t rule out the idea of a gun battle having taken place.

“There’s a very strong possibility that that’s the case, but I’m not going to jump to any conclusions,” said Gross.

Gross said that Brefo was also known to police, and described him as having “been around the block” when it came to crime. She also confirmed that he had multiple lifetime bans on owning or possessing firearms as a result of prior criminal activity.

In fact, Gross was able to confirm that Brefo was one of three people wanted in connection with an abduction and robbery in Peel Region just back in November. He had an outstanding warrant for three counts each of abduction and robbery with a firearm.

Gross did say that despite his past, there’s another aspect of Brefo’s life that is suffering.

“It’s been very difficult,” she said regarding Brefo’s family, who live outside of Toronto and have had extended family come see them, to help them deal with his murder. “I feel badly for his family, he actually comes from a decent family and I hate seeing them feeling the pain even more.”

Meanwhile, alleged shooter Abdelwahab has been charged with second-degree murder for Brefo’s slaying. Gross said police are still looking for a cab driver who allegedly drove Abdelwahab from the scene of the crime.

This was Toronto’s 18th homicide of the year. There were only 11 murders at this time both last year and in 2009.

Police are asking the cab driver, or anyone with information, to contact police at 416-808-7400, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).

About this article:

By: Shawn Star
Posted: Mar 31 2011 5:16 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto