Police are looking for the suspects who shot 16-year-old Tyrone Bracken dead in his apartment building at 135 Neptune Dr., in North York on Wednesday afternoon.
At around 4 p.m., police responded to 911 calls of gunshots and found Bracken dead on the ground floor stairwell, located near Bathurst Street and Wilson Avenue.
Sgt. Orang Momeni told CTV news on Thursday that the police haven’t released a description of the suspect or suspects yet but they are still examining the surveillance tapes from around the neighbourhood.
“He’s a kid. What did someone do to deserve this? Nothing,” said Karen Tysdale, a resident of the same building.
“I feel empathy for the mom, I couldn’t imagine being in her shoes. No family should have to go through this.”
Insp. Gerry Cashman told CTV news that paramedics tried to revive Bracken but he succumbed to his severe injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“I can’t fathom why a 16-year-old in this city is being shot by anybody,” Cashman said. “It doesn’t make sense.”
No information was available as to how many shots were fired, or if there was a weapon found, said Cashman for the Toronto Sun. The information is part of the investigation, which is still in its early stages.
At Bracken’s high school, Sir Sandford Fleming Academy, Principal Arnold Witt told reporters Thursday that grief counselors are helping students cope with the sudden death of the teen.
“It’s just so unbelievable because he was a student of ours who was really respected,” Witt told the Toronto Star.
Bracken played for the football team, and was the hockey team’s goalie as well.
Witt described him as a polite and quiet boy who always wanted to participate in school activities. Neighbours described him as a respectful, good kid who helped carry their groceries.
The high school will be starting a fund on Monday in remembrance of the victim.
A woman who works in the area, but refused to give her name, explained how, when she started working in 2000, the area was relatively calm, but in recent years the violence has made it known as a “bad area.”
“I would be coming home at 9:30 p.m., and there would be drive by shootings with police blocking the roads,” she said.
Tysdale said that this recent event is “like the bad apple in a barrel. Most of the people here that I know are hard-working, family oriented, dedicated people and want the best for their family.”
Tysdale explained that many Neptune residents believe that it’s not a matter if events like this will happen, but a matter of when.
“That makes people really anxious. There are people that I’ve talked to that want to move elsewhere.”
Tysdale is a member of eNRGy, the Neptune Renewal Group, which tries to work towards a positive change in the Neptune community, by actively engaging the youth in positive activities. They have organized events such as a homework clubs, an arts program, and community barbecues.
“We’re trying to get over this apathy in the neighborhood and involve residents, and provide a safe community for their children to grow up in,” said Tysdale.
“If you have a lack of residents involvement, that’s when a void is created, and that’s when you get criminal elements moving in. We’re trying to fill that void.”
Investigators are asking the public for assistance in identifying any suspects.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).