Murder in the mall

Jovane Clarke and mom Althea McDonald

Toronto Police are looking for four black men in their mid-20s in connection with the shooting last Friday of another black man in the Sheridan Mall in the city’s west end.

Jovane Clarke, 22, of  Toronto was fatally shot.

Homicide investigators are seeking the public’s help in identifying the four men who were wearing dark clothing.

Just after 5 p.m. on Friday, police received several 9-1-1 calls about the shooting.

When police arrived on the scene, they were directed to an area inside the mall where they found the lifeless body of a young man.

“The man was observed to have several gunshot wounds to his body,” Detective Sergeant Mike Carbone said at a news conference on Saturday

“The officers from 31 Division and the members of the Toronto Paramedic Services attempted to revive the victim, but were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Carbone said that Clarke drove to the mall and parked at the south-side parking lot and that shortly after arriving,”he was approached by four individuals.

“At least two of the individuals commenced shooting and chasing the deceased north, towards one of the mall entrances. At this point, only one of two of these individuals chase the deceased into the mall. The offender continued to fire at the victim while they were in the mall. The victim was struck several times and succumbed to his injuries.

“…With the information we have at this point, it does look as if he was targeted as he exited the vehicle. We have a great deal of surveillance video to review.”

The mall and parking lot were filled with shoppers at the time of the shooting.

“I am appealing to anyone who was in the area and may have captured the shooting with cell-phone cameras or with their in-car dashboard camera to come forward,” said Carbone.

Clarke’s mother Althea McDonald told reporters on Sunday she had no idea why anyone would target her son.

She said  he was supposed to be heading off to college soon.

Commenting on what he  called a “crisis of gun violence ” in Toronto, Jamaica-born Louis March,  founder of the ZeroGun Violence Movement , noted that  “Political leaders at all three levels of government were quick to respond to the opioids and fentanyl drug overdose problems which resulted in many deaths with the provincial government announcing a $222 million package to fight that crisis.

” Where is that level of response, when it comes to the gun violence crisis ? he asked.