Homicide investigators are seeking the public’s assistance identifying the suspects involved in a robbery that turned into a homicide in a downtown Toronto restaurant on Sunday, November 16.
Tariq Mohammed, 31, was killed instantly at The Garden restaurant, 153 Dundas St W. at around 4 a.m.
At a press conference at police headquarters on November 24, Detective Sergeant Gary Giroux said the deceased and a group of individuals had attended the Muzik nightclub before making their way to the popular after-hours restaurant.
“There were no problems or difficulties experienced by anyone at the night club,” said Giroux.
Once seated at the front of the restaurant, Mohammed and a friend, who was wearing expensive jewelry, made their way to the washroom at the back of the restaurant where they were confronted by a number of people who had entered the restaurant and were not seated by staff.
“At least three of the suspects were loitering in the area of the washroom,” Giroux said. “…The suspects produced firearms and a violent struggle ensued between them, the individual with the jewelry and the deceased. The suspects were successful in removing and stealing two gold chains from around the neck of the victim. The deceased and the victim were successful in breaking free, getting away from the suspects and returning to the main area of the restaurant followed by the suspects.”
Another violent altercation took place at the front of the restaurant resulting in Mohammed’s murder. Two firearms were used during the attack.
Two female patrons – ages 28 and 20 - in the restaurant were struck by stray bullets. They were treated at an area hospital.
Giroux said at least three-to-five suspects and dozens of patrons fled the scene after the shooting. He added there were at least 60 customers in the restaurant at the time.
“Since that time, approximately a dozen individuals who were witnesses and present at the time have come forward to the police at various downtown divisions or by phone calls, indicating that they were present and were prepared to give statements to the police as to what they saw,” he added.
Giroux said police are trying to enhance CCTV images of the suspects.
“The difficulty that we are experiencing is that the suspects are mixed in with a number of patrons present at the time of the shooting,” he pointed out. “Efforts are being made to blur those individual images so that the offenders’ images will be accentuated.”
Anyone with information can call the homicide unit at (416) 808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at 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.