A man accused of killing two men and injuring a third outside a Toronto apartment building appeared in court on Sunday as family members of his alleged victims wept openly in the courtroom.
Denzil Kemoy Williams, 33, of Toronto, has been charged with two counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder. He was remanded into custody and is scheduled to reappear via video link in Toronto on August 6.
Police allege that Williams shot and killed Ahmed Mohamud, 32, and Christopher Teape, 25, both of Toronto, and seriously wounded a third man in the early morning hours of June 29.
The three victims were outside a residential highrise at 55 Emmett Ave., near Jane Street and Weston Road, at about 1:30 a.m. when the shooting took place.
Mohamud died at the scene. Teape, who used a wheelchair, was rushed to hospital where he later died. The third man, whom police have not identified, took himself to a local hospital where he was treated for serious but not-life-threatening injuries.
Standing in the prisoner’s box in the Ontario Court of Justice at Old City Hall, Williams spoke clearly. He wore a white short-sleeved hoodie and black track pants. His hair in short dreadlocks, he faced squarely ahead.
In a news release, police said they carried out a search warrant at an address early Saturday where they seized a firearm and ammunition. Williams was arrested at that time.
Homicide detectives have not released a photo of Williams.
Ahmed Mohamud in wrong place, wrong time, family says
Extended family members of Mohamud say they believe Ahmed was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was shot. They said he was socializing with friends at the time. About 10 of his family members attended court on Sunday.
“That’s what we believe,” his older brother Mohamed Mohamud told CBC Toronto.
“He was near where his parents live, talking to his friends. Those people who witnessed what has happened are saying basically he was not part of what has taken place.”
Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders has said that the shooting was “absolutely” targeted.
Ahmed leaves behind a four-year-old daughter in Somalia, where he is originally from, Mohamud said.
Ahmed Mohamud was ‘a young soul taken too soon’
“He was a young man, a young soul taken too soon,” Mohamud said on the sidewalk outside the courthouse. “He was a good guy. He was part of the family.”
Mohamud said his younger brother was working in a warehouse before he was killed and was studying. He had been married at one time. His family is still grieving his death, he added.
“We were pretty much shocked, devastated, actually,” he said. “It’s been pretty bad for us.”
Mohamud said attending the court appearance was very upsetting for the family.
“We are a people who believe in destiny. Although we have a lot of problems that came after this death, we believe in God and we are taking it slowly. We are trying to be very patient and to see where this will go from here,” he said.
The family thanked Toronto police detectives for making an arrest and laying charges in the case.
Part of the proceeding on Sunday was covered by a publication ban.
Teape and Mohamud were Toronto’s 30th and 31st homicide victims of the year.