Victim named in Oriole Park shooting

James Massey died after receiving a single shotgun blast

Toronto Police have a message for residents who live near Oriole Park, the scene of the city’s 16th homicide: have no fear.

At a press conference this afternoon, homicide detective Gary Giroux said the murder, which occurred around 3 a.m. yesterday, was a targeted slaying.

“I’m here to tell the people in the community that they should feel safe,” he said. “There isn’t an individual going around harming people at random. Clearly the individual and the deceased had some baggage and that particular baggage was meted out in the park that night.”

Giroux said there was a loud and one-sided argument that took place in the park prior to the shooting, which claimed the life of 32-year-old Toronto man James Massey. After a post mortem this morning, Giroux said the cause of death was a single shotgun blast to the abdomen.

Police also believe the victim and suspect likely met in the park shortly before the shooting.

“There was an exchange in the park that lasted for a number of minutes that allowed residents to go to their windows and make observations as to where these angry voices could be heard from,” said Giroux.

“It would appear that based on the narrative, which I won’t be disclosing, of the angry voice that’s heard, it’s clear that the individual had some baggage with the deceased person. He was articulating that loud enough for area residents to hear and the shot was fired after that.”

As for the motive, Giroux said it does not appear to be the result of a love triangle, and also indicated it would not be unusual for Massey to have been out late at night or in Oriole Park.

Giroux said Massey was not living a high-risk lifestyle. Massey was known to police, but Giroux stressed it was only for a “very dated single contact that did not lead to a criminal conviction.” He added that contact did not involve drugs and took place more than three years ago.

The suspect was last seen walking southbound out of the park toward a group of high-rise apartments on Lascelles Boulevard. Giroux said witnesses did not see a gun on the suspect, indicating the shotgun may be sawed off or was concealed in his clothing. There was no vehicle involved.

The suspect is described as a white male in his late 20s, unshaven, 5’8” to 5’10”, unshaven and had a medium build. He was wearing a black or dark-coloured hooded sweatshirt and baggy blue jeans.

About this article:

By: Shawn Star
Posted: May 10 2012 5:12 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto