Three men have been charged in connection with a brazen drive-by shooting north of Toronto that seriously injured a man who was out walking his dog in February, York Regional Police said on Friday.
Carlos Ricardo Gutierrez, 27, Carlos Pena Torrez, 34, and Kenny Banchon Urbina, 30, all of Toronto, have been charged with a string of offences, including attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Police believe the men were hired by an organized crime group to carry out a murder but targeted the wrong man. Police also think the men were members of the Mara Salvatrucha street gang, more commonly known as MS-13, which has roots in El Salvador.
The shooting happened on Feb. 12 shortly before 8:40 a.m. on Centre Street in the community of Schomberg. The victim was struck multiple times.
"The victim is going through a lengthy recovery process, but will survive," police said.
Police initially said they believed the shooting was spontaneous and possibly prompted by the victim gesturing at a speeding SUV to slow down.
In May, police suggested the victim was not the intended target of the shooting.
The three men were arrested during an investigation that resulted in the arrest of eight people. Police say they seized a handgun and AK-47 assault rifle during the investigations.