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Rexdale neighbourhood rattled after 18-year-old shot dead on street

A Rexdale neighbourhood is reeling after an 18-year-old man was gunned down Wednesday night on a street corner — steps from a church — becoming the city’s third murder victim in just four days.

Those who live in the area and witnesses reported hearing five or six gunshots ring out shortly before 9:20 p.m. at Elmhurst and Redwater Drs. — just west of Islington Ave. and a block north of Hwy. 401.

“I was walking to the kitchen and I heard, ‘Bop bop, bop bop, bop bop,’” Jane Sedore said Thursday, her eyes welling up with tears.

The longtime area resident went to her front door, looked outside and was stunned to see a young man collapse on the sidewalk.

Toronto Police cordon off an area after a shooting on Elmhurst Drive in Etobicoke Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Victor Biro photo)

“I was screaming,” Sedore said, explaining her son Robert, 27, rushed outside with no coat or shoes to help the victim while she dialled 911 “continuously” because “nobody was picking up” right away.

She said a passing motorist rushed to the young man’s aid as well.

“Robert just cradled his head,” she said, adding someone else, possibly the woman who was driving by, administered CPR.

Sedore recalled her son telling her later all he could do was “comfort” the dying man.

Toronto Police say the victim lives in Toronto but did not immediately release his name.

“The victim was walking on Elmhurst Dr. when a dark-coloured, four-door car pulled up,” Const. David Hopkinson said. “A number of individuals exited the vehicle and shot the man.”

He said the victim attempted to run away but soon collapsed.

The shooters hopped back into the vehicle and drove east towards Islington Ave., Hopkinson said.

Paramedics arrived and rushed the victim to hospital, where he later died, becoming the city’s third homicide victim of the new year.

The first murder of 2019 occurred at a TCHC highrise in Scarborough, near Danforth Rd. and Midland Ave., early Sunday.

Ian Dyer, 36, was found stabbed to death in a 12th-floor apartment. Leigh Ming, 34, was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder.

On Tuesday afternoon, a woman, 30, was found dead in an eighth-floor apartment of a building in Scarborough – near Birchmount Rd. and St. Clair Ave. E. – and a man, 40, was found dead on the ground out front of the highrise in what is suspected to be a murder-suicide.

On Thursday morning, a section of Redwater Dr. running south from Elmhurst Dr. — on the east side of Ti Agia Maria & St. Demiana Coptic Orthodox Church and a daycare centre — was cordoned off with yellow tape as cops gathered evidence.

Motorists who witnessed the shooting and stopped by to pick up their vehicles, which remained inside the crime scene overnight, spoke briefly without giving their names, saying they saw two gunman open fire on the young man as he stood at the corner.

Sedore, who was still visibly shaken, said she was too upset to sleep Wednesday night.

“I’m devastated. I think the whole neighbourhood is,” she said. “You don’t expect (something like this) but I think it’s a sign of the times.”

Homicide investigators are gathering and reviewing video from area security cameras.

No suspect descriptions were immediately available.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Unit at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

cdoucette@postmedia.com

@SunDoucette

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