Danzig St.: Police link Galloway Boys to Scarborough rampage
Toronto police have connected the notorious Galloway Boys street gang to the Danzig St. rampage, as well as another homicide and a string of shootings across the city.
Two of three homicides now linked to the Scarborough gang took place on July 16 on Danzig St. during a barbecue that turned into the worst mass shooting in Toronto’s history. Innocent bystanders Shyanne Charles, 14, and Joshua Yasay, 23, were killed in the gun battle near Morningside Ave. and Lawrence Ave. E. Twenty-three people suffered gunshot wounds, including a toddler.
According to a statement released by police Monday night, the third homicide that investigators have connected to the gang was the last of 2011. D’Mitre Barnaby, 24, was gunned down in broad daylight on the morning of Dec. 30, his body found face down outside an apartment building at 3895 Lawrence Ave. E.
At the time, police said the shooting was targeted and sought two suspects in the case. Both were in their early 20s and considered armed and dangerous. No arrests were made.
According to the police news release, investigators believe the three homicides are also connected with six shootings that took place between Sept. 4, 2011 and Aug. 10 2012, “and that the Galloway Boys street gang is linked to these events.”
More information, including a video of security camera footage showing the events leading up to, and after, the murder of Barnaby, will be released at two consecutive police news conferences — one near the scene of Barnaby’s murder and the other two kilometres east on Danzig St.
In May 2004, Toronto Police Services targeted another infamous Scarborough gang, the Malvern Crew, after a rash of gun violence in Scarborough.
Project Impact led to 65 arrests of alleged members, who faced a total of more than 500 charges, including attempted murder. At the time, it was Ontario’s largest anti-gang crackdown ever.
Police later found out that members of the Galloway Boys, or G-Way, were responsible for most of the shootings. A homicide investigation led to Project Pathfinder, which resulted in the arrests of more than two dozen G-Way members and associates.
At the time, police credited Project Pathfinder — an investigation named for a car in a suspected drive-by shooting in which two innocent men were fired at — and Project Impact with a dramatic decrease in violent crime.
In 2009, an Ontario Superior Court jury convicted three Galloway Boys of first-degree murder and found they committed the crimes for the benefit of a criminal organization.
A source with close ties to the community told the Star Monday night there’s not much surprise that police have implicated the Galloway Boys in the homicides and shootings.
Community workers had been working on a strategy to deal with the release of many of the gang members jailed for the past several years.
In the years after the Project Pathfinder raids, area residents were concerned it wouldn’t be long before the gang members got back out, explained the source. “There were actually conflicts within the jails, within the facilities,” said the source, adding that many of the men arrested in the crackdowns and convicted of gun possession were given five or seven year jail terms.
“So we knew that after five or seven years they were coming back out, but they were coming back out right at the same time as the Malvern (Crew) as well,” said the source. “And many of them hadn’t moved from the community so there was a lot of concern that when these guys came back out they may not necessarily be on the streets controlling things, but they were able to have influence on some of the younger kids — maybe 12- and 13-year-olds who watched them go into prison.”
In their news release, police made no mention of the Malvern Crew.
“We were expecting these kinds of incidences, we just didn’t see it happening in I guess such a rapid way,” said the source, referring to the increase in shootings in 2012.
Shootings are up nearly 22 per cent according to year-to-date police statistics. There have been 162 instances of shootings so far this year compared with 133 at the same time last year. Victims from shootings are also up — with 226 reported victims this year compared with 160 last year.
It was unclear at press time whether police have made any additional arrests in connection to Danzig, the murder of D’Mitre Barnaby or the string of shootings.
Last week, a 17-year-old Toronto youth wounded in the July mass shooting on Danzig was shot again while riding a bicycle near his Scarborough home.
After police arrested two teens at a home on Danzig police charged a 16-year-old with attempted murder. The Star learned that the 16-year-old alleged shooter, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has connections to Nahom Tsegazab, 19, who was charged last month with reckless discharge of a fireman in connection to the Danzig St. shooting.
Another man, Shaquan Mesquito, 18, has been charged with threatening to harm people at the block party the day the mass shooting erupted.
With files from Megan Ogilvie and Tim Alamenciak
Related: What really happened on Danzig St.?
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