Police Involved in Caribana Shooting

August 2, 2011 Updated: August 4, 2011

Gunshots were fired July 30 along the route of the Toronto Caribbean festival, Caribana, causing a 30-year-old man’s death and injuries to two other persons—a woman in her 20s and 19-year-old Amrit Boodram.

At Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital, the 30-year-old man was pronounced dead. The Pickering woman underwent surgery for critical injuries, and Boodram suffered eye injuries and a grazing. Both were rushed to a trauma centre.

The incidents occurred along Lakeshore Blvd. It wasn’t until after hours that the shooting began, but there were still many unaware people along the boulevard dancing away.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of Ontario, which has taken over the investigation, said that police discharged their firearms and had interacted with three men before the shooting occurred.

The SIU is a civilian law enforcement agency, independent of the police, that conducts criminal investigations into circumstances involving police and civilians that have resulted in serious injury, death, or allegations of sexual assault.

This was not the first time shots were fired at this event. Two bullets were fired at Brampton’s Dwayne Taylor from a rival gang member in 2005.

At Yonge and Gerrard, a man who possessed firearms smashed his SUV into another car during the Caribana celebration in 2003. He attempted to get away from the police and ran a red light.

The Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival dates back to 1967, only changing its name this year to Caribana.

The kaleidoscopic festival had over 17,000 participants and 250 security officers along the 4.5 km parade route. Bringing tourism up a notch, Caribana reportedly stimulates $250 million in local economic activity.