4-year-old girl among random strangers shot at by Brampton man in 'outrageous' shooting spree

4-year-old girl among random strangers shot at by Brampton man in 'outrageous' shooting spree

Toronto police have arrested a man who allegedly shot at random strangers, including a four-year-old girl, in five separate incidents this month.

Between Jan. 9 and 21, police say 20-year-old Brampton man Adam Abdi approached people in a variety of circumstances. They allege he opened fire before running away.

In the first case, he is believe to have shot at two people standing inside the hallway of an Etobicoke apartment building, wounding a 19-year-old man, police say.

Former private investigator Juelann Vander Mark was home at the time of the shooting and says she and a few other people came out into the hallway after hearing the commotion.  

"Right away I went into my old routine and thought, 'Make sure you secure the scene,'" said Vander Mark. 

She asked a neighbour for a few plastic cups to ensure the bullets and casings remained untouched until police arrived.  

"I'm glad that they have someone in custody. It's taken my nervousness down a notch," said Vander Mark. "This is a family building. You expect to be able to wander around. It's not a war zone."

Police have no motive for shootings 

In the two shootings that followed, Abdi allegedly targeted two different people on separate days as they walked down the street.

Then five days later on Jan. 21, police say Abdi approached a parked car with a man and his 4-year-old daughter sitting inside and allegedly fired at both of them before fleeing.

Supt. Ron Taverner described the shootings as "outrageous and disturbing" and said investigators cannot determine any possible motive and there's no apparent connection between any of the victims.

"To go out and shoot five times at people, in a very short time span ... it's beyond comprehension," Taverner said.

Abdi is facing a total of 48 charges, including seven counts of attempted murder. 

The most serious incident was the final shooting that occurred an hour after the father and daughter were targeted. 

A 19-year-old man was shot at when the accused allegedly drove up beside him as he walked down the street. The victim suffered life threatening injuries and remains in hospital. 

'Imagine being shot at randomly by somebody'

Police allege Abdi successfully shot only two of the seven victims, but Taverner says it's also important to remember the trauma everyone experienced during these events. 

"Imagine being shot at randomly by somebody," said Traverner. "It's mindboggling."

The incidents took place near two areas: Finch Avenue West and Islington Avenue and  Rathburn Road and Highway 427 in Etobicoke.

On Monday, officers working out of 31 Division and 22 Division arrested Abdi and seized a handgun they believe is related to the shootings.  

They were able to track him down after a witness to the most recent incident provided a description of his vehicle. 

Abdi appeared in court Monday shortly after his arrest. Police added that Abdi may have prior offences and was known to them. 

He's expected to appear in court again on Friday.