Mayor John Tory stands in front of the media in Toronto on Tuesday April 18, 2017. Toronto. Tory, who was filling in as the morning show host on radio station CFRB, told listeners that shootings in Toronto involve “a very complicated network of gangs in the city.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

No magic wand to end Toronto gun violence: Mayor John Tory

Mayor John Tory says there is “no easy answer” or magic wand to reduce gun violence in the country’s largest city, which has claimed 22 lives so far in 2018.

Toronto Mayor John Tory says there is “no easy answer” or magic wand to reduce gun violence in the country’s largest city, which has claimed 22 lives so far in 2018.

Tory, who was filling in as the morning show host on radio station CFRB, told listeners that shootings in Toronto involve “a very complicated network of gangs in the city.”

Eleven people have been shot in the city since Friday, with the latest occurring early Tuesday when a man was shot in an apparent drive-by shooting near the downtown core. The victim suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Two people from the city’s rap scene were killed in a brazen daylight shooting on Queen Street on Saturday in the entertainment district — Jahvante Smart, 21, also known as Smoke Dawg, and Ernest Modekwe, 28, both of Toronto. A woman who was also shot is expected to recover.

Another four people were injured by gunshots late Sunday in the city’s Kensington Market area.

Toronto has recorded 22 people killed by guns so far this year out of a total of 51 homicides — a number inflated by a deadly van attack that killed 10 people in one day. There were 27 homicides at this point in 2017.

Tory said statistics indicate that more than 75 per cent of the shootings in Toronto are in some way gang-related.

“Who were the people that pulled the trigger on Queen Street? Were they the boy scouts? Who goes by in a car and fires a gun out the window at people on the sidewalk?”

Tory said while there is “no simple explanation,” the city is taking some action, such as hiring 170 new police officers.

Related: Survivor of gun violence in Afghanistan wants to be ‘voice of women’ while in B.C.

Related: 7,000 pairs of shoes laid out in Washington, D.C., to honour kids killed by gun violence

Meantime, the chief of police told local TV station CP24 that more than 90 per cent of gun violence in the city is linked to gangs.

“The vast majority of gunplay in the city can be associated with a street gang,” Mark Saunders said. “Having said that, being surgical, being strategic and being focused with that gang subculture is a huge concern of mine. We’ve got a plan in play to look after it over the course of the summer.”

He said the plan involves “knowing who the players are” rather than saturating neighbourhoods with a police presence.

Saunders noted that just because a shooting is gang-related, it doesn’t mean the victims are members of gangs.

The mayor added he is “delighted” that new Ontario premier Doug Ford has indicated a keen interest in tackling the problem and that federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale wants to do the right thing on gun control.

“It is still far too easy for people to buy multiple guns in our city, in our country, perfectly lawfully and never really have to account again for where those guns are or whose hands they have fallen into,” Tory said.

“Nobody has a magic wand, If it was that evident as to exactly what needed to be done, then I guess somebody would have done it by now.”

Tory also reiterated his earlier call for people charged with gun offences to not be granted bail if they have a previous conviction.

“They’re just laughing at us as they get out on the streets and they do their mayhem all over again.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. poverty reduction strategy unveiled in Surrey

The plan is designed to lift 140,000 people — 50,000 children among them — out of poverty

FOCUS: New arena, more ice in Surrey – but will it be enough for everyone?

With both rinks to close at North Surrey rec, the result is a net gain of one ice sheet this fall

‘Powerful’ Punjabi youth writing contest lauded in Surrey

The Dhahan Prize contest invites B.C. teens to connect to their culture through storytelling

Accused Surrey transit cop shooter’s bail hearing set for April

Daon Gordon Glasgow, 35, is accused of shooting Transit Police Constable Josh Harms, 27

UPDATE: Three to hospital following house fire in South Surrey

Emergency crews knock down blaze at townhome in the 2700-block of 158 Street

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Kids found playing darts with syringes in Vancouver Island park

Saanich police is urging people to throw out their syringes properly and safely

5 to start your day

IIO BC probe arrest at Surrey vigil for mosque shooting, Maple Ridge closes homeless evacuation centre and more

‘The whole city has changed:’ B.C. woman in New Zealand reacts to mosque attacks

An expatriate and Muslim students at UBC Okanagan deeply affected by white supremacist shooting

Trudeau condemns hateful, ‘toxic segments’ of society after New Zealand shooting

Prime Minister expressed sorrow at the many attacks in recent years

Air Canada grounds its Boeing Max 8s until at least July 1 to provide certainty

Airlines around the world have been working to redeploy their fleets since their Max 8s were grounded last week

Budget to tout Liberal economic record, provide distraction from SNC furor

This is the Liberal government’s fourth and final budget before the election

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

Vancouver Island overdue for the big one, can also expect mega-thrust tsunami

The last big earthquake was 70 years ago in Courtenay

Most Read