Outstanding investigative work by Toronto Police homicide officers has led to arrests following two murders in the city in the last month.
On August 12, just after 3.30 a.m., John Wheeler, 45, was standing outside his residence at 1350 Danforth Rd. when a single suspect approached from behind and shot him in the back.
The deceased, who worked in the construction industry, was waiting -- as he did daily -- for his ride to work to arrive.
Investigators at the time released video of the moments leading up to the murder.
On September 16, Christopher Mitchell, 18, of Brampton, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He made a court appearance via video today.
At a press conference outside police headquarters on September 17, Insp. Hank Idsinga said the murder was pointless and the community reacted.
“Witnesses came forward and local businesses helped the investigators with video surveillance,” he said. “The investigators and the family of the victim thank them for that.”
The investigation is ongoing as it is alleged that the suspect was in the company of at least two other individuals.
D/Sgt. Ted Lioumanis, who is in charge of the case, said Wheeler’s killing was senseless.
“He didn’t deserve this nor does anyone,” he said. “Mr. Wheeler was just going to work as he did every morning. At this point, I do believe he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
On September 10, just after 2 p.m., Andre Rodriguez, 26, was in the parking lot of the Walmart store at 2525 St. Clair Ave. W. when he was shot and killed.
Mohamed Osman, 34, of St. Catharines, was arrested on September 16 and charged with first-degree murder.
An arrest warrant has been obtained for 33-year-old Abdelmuniem Abdalla, of Grimsby, for first-degree murder.
“He’s considered armed and dangerous and I would encourage anybody with knowledge of his whereabouts to contact police immediately,” said Idsinga. “I am also encouraging Mr. Abdalla to contact counsel and turn himself in.”
The Homicide Unit Commander said the shooting in broad daylight in the middle of a crowded parking lot motivated witnesses to come forward to assist with the investigation.
“We couldn’t have done it without them,” he noted. “Again, the family of the victim are thankful for the assistance.”
D/Sgt. Keri Fernandes is the lead investigator in this case.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7400, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes or Google Play.