A man is in custody after shooting at Toronto Police officers trying to arrest him.
On October 18, plainclothes members of the Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force were on Shenley Road in the Kennedy Road and Eglinton Avenue East in Scarborough in search of a man who was wanted for recklessly discharging a firearm in the city last March.
At a media conference outside police headquarters on October 19, Superintendent Steve Watts of the Organized Crime Enforcement Unit said officers were able to locate the suspect outside his residence.
“Officers from the Gun and Gang Task Force moved in to arrest the suspect at which point he fled on foot in an attempt to evade arrest,” said Watt. “While fleeing, the suspect produced a handgun and began to fire at the police officers who were forced to take immediate cover to protect themselves.”
Once inside his home, the suspect continued firing at police.
“Although the officers came under extensive gunfire, remarkably none was injured,” Watts said, noting that a police vehicle that was being driven by one of the officers and a nearby residence were both struck by rounds fired by the suspect.
The officers set up containment and requested additional support, including the Emergency Task Force (ETF) who was able to establish communications with the suspect who remained inside the residence.
After a nearly two-and-a-half hour standoff, he surrendered to the ETF.
“The events of last night remain under active investigation, including the execution of search warrants,” said Watts. “I want to emphasize just how fortunate we are that none of our officers were struck by gunfire during last night’s events. It is truly a testament to their courage, training and abilities. We are also extremely relieved that no members of the pubic were injured. As you will appreciate, this was an utterly reckless and brazen attempt to do serious harm to police officers who were attempting to remove an alleged shooter from our streets.”
Thomas James McMahon, 35, of Toronto is facing three attempted murder and a series of firearm-related charges, including possession of a firearm while under two separate court-ordered prohibitions.
He appeared in court this morning and remains in custody.
McMahon is also charged with recklessly discharging a firearm and other gun-related offences.
“This incident occurred just before midnight in a residential neighbourhood on Woodycrest Avenue on March 17 this year,” said Watt. “While the accused is now in custody, our investigators are still interested in speaking to anyone with information on either the events of last evening or the firearm incident on Woodycrest Avenue in March.”
Anyone with information or video footage is asked to contact Toronto Police or Crimestoppers.
Watt extended sincere appreciation to Gun and Gang Task Force members, including the Street Enforcement and Centralized Shooting Investigations teams, the ETF and other frontline personnel who responded to the scene.
“These officers performed remarkably well under extremely difficult and dangerous circumstances,” he said. “This is a prime example of the dangers our members continue to face in the interest of making our communities safer for everyone. The fact that they were able to take this individual into custody unharmed is a further credit to the professionalism and abilities of these officers.”
At the start of the media conference, Watt extended condolences to Royal Canadian Mounted Police colleagues on the tragic loss of Constable Shaelyn Yang who was killed in the line of duty in Burnaby, British Columbia on October 18.
She is the fourth Canadian police officer to die in the line of duty since September 12 when Toronto Police Constable Andrew Hong was killed at a Tim Horton’s in Mississauga while on a lunch break during a training exercise.