While homicide investigators have significant video footage that has been helpful in establishing what occurred on the night that Neeko Mitchell was murdered at the North Kipling Community Centre, they are appealing to witnesses to come forward.
Mitchell, 25, was fatally shot on Nov. 24 after 8 p.m. outside the centre. He was there to see his brother participate in a basketball tournament that has been suspended because of the homicide. The tournament, which started that night, was scheduled to conclude on Dec. 29.
“Video evidence, although extremely important and helpful in both police investigations and criminal prosecutions, is not and will never be all that’s required to prove the guilt or innocence of a person,” said D/Sgt. Brian Borg at a news conference at police headquarters on Dec. 4.
“It simply doesn’t tell the whole story. If that was the case, lawyers would simply play it for a judge or jury and let them decide based on what they see.
“Video evidence will never replace the importance of human witnesses who see a crime occur and report it to the police,” said Borg.
“Regardless of the fact that video showed there were many eye-witnesses who were there that night and saw what occurred, only a small handful has provided information to police.”
Borg released surveillance photos of three individuals – one of them a female – who arrived at the centre together and are believed to be involved in Mitchell’s murder.
He said Mitchell – who was known to police despite the fact he didn’t have a criminal record -- was shot with high velocity ammunition, which passed through his body. He died at the scene.
“He was shot several times and never had any chance of survival,” Borg said.
Supt. Ron Taverner, unit commander at 23 Division, joined Borg in appealing for witnesses to come forward.
“The community centre is a lot less busy after this homicide,” he said.
“I am appealing to people to come forward and help us solve this crime so that people can enjoy that facility once more and go about their normal activities and business.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homicide Squad at 416-808-7400, 23 Division at 416-808-2300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.