The Toronto Police Service is urging residents of an Etobicoke neighborhood to “pay attention to their environment” as they examine a potential hyperlink between two lethal stabbings.
“We’re cognizant sufficient of what has occurred over the past week in that space that we really feel it’s essential to convey it to the general public’s consideration,” the top of the service’s murder unit, Insp. Hank Idsinga, advised reporters throughout a information convention held on Monday afternoon.
The primary of the 2 homicides, Idsinga and Det.-Sgt. Joel Kulmatycki stated, occurred on Sept. 7.
That morning, the physique of Rampreet (Peter) Singh was discovered beneath the bridge he had been dwelling beneath by a jogger. Investigators released of Singh and a map of the place he was positioned the subsequent day, however no suspect info was offered.
In response to Kulmatycki, Singh was sleeping when he was attacked by an unknown offender.
“I can’t say for sure if this gentleman was focused,” Kulmatycki stated on Monday. “By all accounts, he saved to himself and native residents, who would both jog or stroll their canines or rollerblade, would convey him meals to eat.”
The bridge the place Singh’s physique was found, positioned alongside Freeway 27 simply south of Humber Faculty Boulevard close to the West Humber Path, is about 5 kilometres from the place the second murder occurred 5 days later.
On Saturday night, emergency crews had been referred to as to the Worldwide Muslim Group mosque, positioned within the space of Rexdale Boulevard and Bergamot Avenue, for a report of a stabbing.
Simply earlier than, Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, a volunteer caretaker on the mosque, was sitting in a chair simply exterior the entrance doorways guaranteeing that those that entered had been complying with public well being measures. Police stated he was approached by a suspect and stabbed one time.
When emergency responders arrived on the scene, they positioned Zafis affected by a stab wound to his neck. He was pronounced lifeless on the scene.
When requested over the weekend if police had been investigating the loss of life of Zafis as a potential hate crime, officers stated they aren’t ruling out that chance, however, at the moment, the data they’ve doesn’t counsel that.
In response to being requested concerning the similarities within the two murders, Idsinga stated he can not get into specifics, however can verify that “each victims had been stabbed and the incidents occurred in very shut proximity to one another.”
Idsinga additionally confirmed each victims are of “comparable ethnicities.”
“At this stage in our investigation, it’s too early to verify if these two homicides are linked to 1 one other, nevertheless we can not exclude that chance,” he stated. “I don’t wish to elevate any worry, any panic, I simply need folks to bear in mind that is one thing we’re , the chance that these are linked.”
“If anything does come up that hyperlinks the 2 occurrences collectively, you’ll be the primary to know.”
Thus far, no suspect info has been launched within the first murder however a suspect description and surveillance digicam footage has been launched by officers in reference to the second case. The male suspect has been described by officers as standing about five-foot-six and weighing about 130 kilos. He was final seen carrying a black hoodie and darkish pants.
Idsinga stated the 2 murder groups are working with each other on these circumstances out of 23 Division. Forensic proof is being examined from each scenes and extra surveillance digicam footage is being checked out.
As nicely, Idsinga famous that the service has enhanced patrols within the space, together with officers on foot and on ATVs.
“We’re asking the general public to please proceed to pay attention to your environment and report any suspicious folks or habits to police or Crime Stoppers,” he stated.
“Be cognizant of what’s happening round you.”
Anybody with additional info is requested to contact investigators at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).