After more than a year and a half of being a homicide-free neighbourhood, Lawrence Heights was struck by murder again in early May.
Police were called to Cather Crescent just after 7 p.m. on May 4 for the sound of gunshots. Once at the scene, they located a wounded man, who was then rushed to hospital. He later died.
The cause of death was determined to be numerous gunshot wounds.
Paul Fitzgerald Benn, 38, became the city’s 15th homicide victim this year.
In a news release, police said they believed a group of people was near the victim just before he was shot.
As of press time police had no updates on the case, which is similar to many of the previous murders in the neighbourhood.
Cather Crescent was also the location of the last murder in Lawrence Heights. Randy Anthony Malcolm, 24, was killed in late August 2010 while sitting with a group of friends in front of a home. His murder is still unsolved.
In March 2008, Abdikarim Ahmed Abdikarim was shot and killed in front of a building on Edengarth Court. That shooting was caught on video, but it was not enough for a conviction and a man charged in that murder was acquitted.
Ricardo Francis, a 23-year-old resident of Amaranth Court, was gunned down in front of his building in July 2007. His murder has never been solved.
Neither has the murder of 46-year-old Leroy Whittaker, who was shot after answering the door to his apartment at 1 Flemington Rd. in July 2005.
In fact, the last time there was a murder in Lawrence Heights that resulted in convictions was the double murder of community activists Paul Watson and Michael Lewis in July of 2001.
Anthony Fitzgerald Hamilton, Lennox Anthony Schloss, Michael George Reid, and Everald Anthony Davis were all found guilty of first-degree murder in that high-profile double homicide.
At press time, Toronto Police had solved around 70 percent of the city’s murders this year, but that drops to 50 percent for cases involving guns.
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