Police believe young woman in Brampton, Ont., was kidnapped from home

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A 23-year-old woman was allegedly kidnapped from a home west of Toronto by an armed man who escaped police gunfire early Sunday morning, officials said.

Peel Regional Police Supt. Sean Gormley says the suspect in the kidnapping is considered armed and dangerous — and is wanted for first-degree murder in a slaying last summer.

He said through help from the public, police have found the car the two were driving in, but not its occupants.

"We have great concern for the safety and well-being of the female party," Gormley told reporters Sunday afternoon.

Police said they were called to a townhome around 3 a.m. after receiving reports that a man was screaming and banging on a door.

The Special Investigations Unit, the province's police watchdog, has invoked its mandate to investigate.

The agency said officers showed up and heard a woman screaming inside.

The officers breached the door and followed the sounds of the screams to the garage, the SIU said.

There they found a man in the driver's seat of a car and a woman in the back seat.

"There was an interaction, and two officers discharged their firearms in the direction of the vehicle," the SIU said in a statement.

"While still in the vehicle, the man managed to flee from the garage with the woman still inside."

It isn't known if the man was hit by gunshots, the SIU said.

The agency said it invoked its mandate to investigate because officers fired their guns.

Peel Regional Police spokeswoman Const. Heather Cannon said the officers were not physically hurt.

"At this time we are not aware of any injuries to either the suspect or victim," Cannon said.

She said Sunday morning they do not know the pair's whereabouts.

"At this point, we believe she is in that vehicle unwillingly," Cannon said. "We are concerned for her safety and well-being."

Police say they are looking for the woman, Salina Ouk, who may be in a black Honda Civic.

Police said they are looking for Kwami Garwood, 21, who is allegedly armed and should not be approached.

The police force says the province's independent police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, is investigating the case.

Toronto police said Garwood is wanted for the death of Andre Charles.

Around 1:40 p.m. on July 4, officers responded to a shooting in northeast Toronto. There they found Charles in a parking lot with gunshot wounds.

A 21-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were charged with first-degree murder in his death.

Garwood has been on the run since.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2021.

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press