Man facing 5 attempted murder charges after Scarborough drive-by shooting

·2 min read
Toronto police Supt. Steve Watts announced Wednesday that investigators have charged a man who they allege was involved in a drive-by shooting where five men were hurt in Scarborough in April. (CBC - image credit)
Toronto police Supt. Steve Watts announced Wednesday that investigators have charged a man who they allege was involved in a drive-by shooting where five men were hurt in Scarborough in April. (CBC - image credit)

A 20-year-old Toronto man is facing multiple charges — including five counts of attempted murder — connected to a drive-by shooting in a Scarborough parking lot back in April.

At a press conference Wednesday, Supt. Steve Watts from Toronto police's organized crime enforcement unit said Muhammad Ashan Naseer was arrested earlier this week.

Watts said the incident was targeted, but he did not offer any information as to the alleged shooter's motive.

"Absolutely this was not random," he said.

The incident happened on April 16, in the Markham Road and Lawrence Avenue East area. Police say that around 1 a.m., a group of people who were celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan were gathered in a parking lot to discuss where to eat.

Investigators say the group was then "randomly attacked" in a drive-by shooting. Five people were shot, with victims between the ages of 28 to 35 years old.

Four victims were found at the scene with gunshot wounds and transported to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said at the time. A fifth victim, who also sustained non-life-threatening injuries, made his own way to hospital.

Police said at the time there was no information to suggest the victims were involved in any type of criminal activity.

Watts also said Wednesday that the shooting did not appear to be hate-motivated.

"At this point, there is no evidence to suggest that this was anything hate-motivated at those particular individuals," he said.

On top of the attempted murder charges, Naseer also faces several other weapons-related charges, including two counts of possessing a restricted or prohibited firearm without a licence and registration certificate.

He is still in custody pending a bail hearing. He is set to appear in court again on Sept. 13.