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Woodstock man shot dead after Toronto soccer game: ‘Very disturbing’

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A Woodstock man was killed in a weekend mass shooting outside a Toronto high school that left four other people injured, police say.

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A Woodstock man was killed in a weekend mass shooting outside a Toronto high school that also left four people injured, police say.

Toronto police have identified 61-year-old Delroy (George) Parkes as the person killed and said four others, in their 40s to 60s, were still in hospital on Tuesday, and all had suffered “life-altering and non-life-threatening injuries.”

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“It is with profound sadness that we announce the tragic and untimely passing of my beloved father Delroy Parkes, who many of you knew as ‘Uncle George,’” read an online fundraiser organized by Jaidyn Parkes and family.

The GoFundMe page describes Parkes as a “beautiful human being who loved his family deeply” and whose “passions included playing soccer and dominoes with his friends every night in a peaceful and friendly gathering.”

The page says Parkes cherished his wife, children and grandchildren, and calls him the “pillar of our family, providing not only love and support but also a sense of security and stability.”

The shooting happened Sunday before 11 p.m. in the parking lot of North Albion Collegiate secondary school in Etobicoke, a west-end suburb, police said.

Between 15 and 20 men were socializing after playing a soccer game earlier in the day, police said. Two people in a dark pickup truck pulled up to the group, left the vehicle and began shooting, police said.

“It’s very disturbing. I think there isn’t anyone in this room or this community that isn’t outraged,” Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner said at a Monday news conference.

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Overturned tables, chairs, dominos and blood on the ground is shown in the alcove of North Albion Collegiate Institute in Toronto, where five people were hit by gunfire Sunday night. Photo taken on Monday June 3, 2024. (Jack Boland/Toronto Sun)

The shooting was “one-sided” and police don’t believe there was an exchange of gunfire between the shooters and victims, said Det. Sgt. Philip Campbell.

The fatal shooting took place within about 24 hours of two nearby shootings that injured two others.

On Saturday night, less than two kilometres from Sunday night’s shooting, a “totally innocent” 20-year-old was shot and injured, Taverner said. Later, at 2:40 a.m. Sunday, a 14-year-old boy was “randomly shot” walking out of an apartment building, Taverner said.

According to the Toronto police public safety data portal, Toronto was experiencing a decline in shootings and firearm discharges during five years until 2023, when the number of annual events totalled 345, compared to 492 in 2019.

But, 2024 has seen the instances of shootings and firearm discharges skyrocket compared to last year at the same time in the city.

So far in 2024, the city has experienced 193 events compared to 111 to this point last year, an increase of 74 per cent, while the number of people killed killed in shootings has jumped from seven people last year at this time to 18 people so far in 2024, a 157 per cent increase.

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North Albion Collegiate secondary school was closed on Monday by the Toronto District school board while police investigated.

Toronto police said two suspects are outstanding, though no names or identifying details were made public, and investigators were appealing to the public for any information.

–with files from Canadian Press

bwilliams@postmedia.com
@BrianWatLFPress

The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada

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