File photo — THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

A 20-year-old man is facing dozens of charges, including seven counts of attempted murder, in what police describe as a string of unprovoked, random shootings in Toronto that narrowly missed being fatal.

Toronto police said Tuesday that the man, who is currently in custody, allegedly worked his way through neighbourhoods in the northwest corner of the city over the past two weeks, opening fire on a total of seven victims ranging in age from four to 47.

None of the victims were known to each other or the accused, said Supt. Ron Taverner, describing the case as “disturbing” but saying the force is breathing a sigh of relief that things didn’t turn out worse.

“We’re lucky that we’re not dealing with potentially seven homicides or more,” Taverner said in a telephone interview. “I wish we could say we had a motive, but we don’t.”

Taverner said the string of shootings began on Jan. 9 as two teenagers were entering a residential building.

Taverner alleged that the accused, 20-year-old Adam Abdi of Brampton, Ont., fired multiple shots at the 19-year-old man and 15-year-old girl as they stood in the hallway. The girl was not hurt, while the man sustained undisclosed injuries, he said.

One week later on Jan. 16, Taverner alleged Abdi struck again as a 47-year-old man was standing on the sidewalk outside his home. Police allege Abdi walked up and shot him before fleeing the scene.

The next shooting took place five days later as a 20-year-old man was walking past a vehicle in which Abdi was allegedly seated. Police said he came out of the car shooting at the alleged victim before driving away from the scene.

The following day, Taverner said a 35-year-old man and his four-year-old daughter were sitting in their vehicle after dropping someone off when the next alleged attack came.

Taverner alleged Abdi exited a nearby vehicle and fired multiple close-range shots at the father and daughter before fleeing. Neither the father nor daughter were hurt.

One hour later, however, a 19-year-old man was less fortunate, police said. Taverner alleged Abdi drove up beside the teen as he walked down the street, rolled down the window and opened fire. The 19-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries and remains in hospital, Taverner said.

“It’s mind-boggling, quite frankly,” Taverner said. “We haven’t been able to determine any motive whatsoever that these are other than random shootings.”

Taverner said the weekend shootings produced some information about the suspect’s vehicle, which allowed police to arrest Abdi at his home on Monday.

Abdi is facing a total of 48 charges, including seven counts of attempted murder.

Taverner said police are investigating potential links to other shootings. He noted that Abdi’s arrest allows the force some breathing room to conduct their investigation.

“We can go about our business in investigating previous cases now and not be so concerned that this individual is going to be out shooting and possibly killing other people,” he said.

Abdi appeared in a Toronto courtroom on Monday.

Michelle McQuigge , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Masks4Canada group reiterates call for mask mandate

Walmart Canada and BC Transit have made masks mandatory

Kiakho Lake wildfire being held, Stirton Rd wildfire under control

Latest update on two local wildfires in the Kimberley and Cranbrook area

Cranbrook Bucks set to open rookie camp at the end of August

Junior hockey will feature in Cranbrook at the end of the month,… Continue reading

Officials raise alarm over water, environmental ‘crisis’ in Baynes Lake area

Local officials are sounding the alarm over a water and environmental crisis… Continue reading

The Murdochs: Fast Track to Hockey Stardom

Every Canadian hockey story, like that of the Murdochs of Cranbrook, seems to start in the backyard

Hiroo Onoda’s Thirty-Year War

Some Japanese soldiers, not knowing the war was over, did not surrender until 1972

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Pitt Meadows woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

VIDEO: B.C. community rallies to save snared eagle

Revelstoke climber scales tree to save the raptor

Most Read