Homicide investigators have released the images of two people they believe were witnesses to a murder in the city’s west end earlier this year.
On February 9 at around 2 a.m., 20-year-old Kiowa McComb was fatally stabbed outside the Gucci Bar & Grill at 1693 Jane St. His older brother, who was also stabbed in the fight, survived the attack.
Andre Appleton, 35, was arrested and charged with second degree murder and attempted murder.
At a news conference at police headquarters on October 14, Homicide Detective Sergeant Gary Giroux urged the witnesses – a man and woman at the bar that night and outside during the murder – to contact police.
“They were standing a few feet away from the stabbing and would have seen the entire event unfold in front of them,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that their images have to be released in this particular fashion… Doing the right thing for the right reason is something we expect from all citizens of this city… I am hoping that these individuals, in seeing their images on TV, will self-identify themselves to police or call us directly to tell us what they saw that night.”
Giroux said the man was clearly shocked by what he saw.
“At one point in time, he actually puts his hand on his face in relation to what he would have seen on the sidewalk taking place right in front of him,” he said. “The deceased suffered a tremendous amount of bleeding at the scene which I suspect is what this individual is reacting to and what he can see.”
The veteran officer said the two people frequent bars in the Jane St. and Lawrence Ave. W. area, the woman may have been known by the name Layla.
Giroux also explained why he released the images of the witnesses.
“It’s important that we identify witnesses at the scene,” he said. “During the litigation at the preliminary hearing, the defence counsel will ask what efforts were made to find these individuals. So I want to be aggressive with trying to find them.
“They are certainly under no legal obligation to speak to the police, but I can compel them to the preliminary hearing by way of a subpoena.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homicide Squad at 416- 808-7400; Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at 222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.