A Toronto police officer and an auto repair shop owner were fatally shot while three others suffered gunshot wounds in two separate shootings before the gunman was killed by the police.
Constable Andrew Hong, 48, was at a Tim Hortons restaurant in Mississauga, Ontario, at around 2 p.m. on Monday when he was ambushed by Shawn Petry, 30, who shot him dead.
Another individual at the scene was also shot. The victim, who suffered life-altering injuries, is being treated at a trauma center in the GTA.
Hong had been running a joint training exercise with Peel and York Regional Police in Mississauga and was taking his lunch break when the shooting occured. He was a 22-year veteran and a member of Toronto police’s Traffic Services Unit.
“This is devastating news for his family and for all members of the Toronto Police Service and our entire policing community,” Toronto Police Chief James Ramer told reporters on Monday. “We will lean on each other while we work to support Constable Hong’s family, and each other, in our grief.”
The shooter then went to MK Auto Repairs in Milton, where he reportedly shot three individuals at around 2:50 p.m. The shop owner, Shakeel Ashraf, was pronounced dead at the scene. One of the other two victims is in critical condition, while the second is in serious condition, according to reports.
Petry was an employee at the auto repair shop, according to Ashraf’s friends.
“I don’t know him personally. He used to work at the shop about a year ago and he was there for a short period of time from what I understand,” Ashraf’s cousin Arslan Hanif told CP24. “I just can’t find a motive, especially for a person like Shakeel. He contributed to the community, he gave his time donating to charities, he was a gem.”
The suspect fled the scene in a stolen black Jeep Cherokee. He was later located in Hamilton by the police. According to Hamilton Police Chief Frank Bergen, Petry was shot and killed in the Hamilton cemetery at around 5 p.m.
The incident is now being probed by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Information on the suspect’s motive and the interaction that led to his death has not been released.
“There was an interaction and there were shots fired by police from Halton and Hamilton,” Kristy Denette, spokesperson for the SIU, told CBC News. “It’s not clear which firearm led to the death of the suspect [and it’s] unclear whether the person was armed and shots were exchanged.”
Hong is survived by his wife and two children. Police lined up in procession to pay respect as Hong’s body was taken away from the scene in Mississauga.
“We are grateful for the outpouring of support. Andrew was magnetic. He was a man of steel on the outside, with a warm teddy bear personality on the inside. His personality was larger than life,” Hong’s family wrote in a statement. “He loved his Police family and was so proud to be a member of the Toronto Police Service, and especially loved being a part of the Motor Unit.”
“He was a practical joker and got along with everyone,” the statement continued. “His absence has left a gaping hole in the hearts of our family, the Police family and everyone who knew and loved Andrew. We are overwhelmed with love and support and are asking for privacy at this time.”
Ashraf has been described as a “devoted father” and an “avid cricket player.”
“I’ve known him for over 15 years,” one of Ashraf’s longtime customers told CP24. “He has been our go-to guy for any issues with the car, any information on cars, not only for me, for my children as well. A loving, just an affectionate family man.”