Two young offenders have been arrested in Toronto after a crime spree described by police as “absolutely random” in the York Region and Scarborough on Wednesday.
The crime spree lasted all day and appears to have begun with a robbery at roughly 5 am. Included in the crimes are numerous gunpoint store robberies, a carjacking, random shootings, and crashing the stolen vehicle after a brief chase with police.
“Essentially this started this morning at approximately 5:00 a.m. (with) a retail gunpoint robbery,” said Duty Inspector Mandeep Mann. “What we now know is that throughout the day the individuals responsible for that retail robbery went on essentially a day-long crime spree involving firearms (and) multiple robberies at gunpoint.”
Later in the day, police responded to calls that people had been shot in drive-by shootings against cyclists from a car that matched the described vehicle use in the earlier robberies, report CityNews.
In an interview with 680 News, Const. David Hopkinson said the shootings appeared to be “absolutely random.”
Early reports say that the gun seized was a BB gun, but police are yet to confirm this detail.
“We do have some information that some of the incidents today involved an air-soft pistol, whether the firearm that we have in the vehicle now is an air-soft or proper firearm we’ll have to conduct some tests to determine that,” said police.
“The officers attempted to take that vehicle down and a collision occurred,” Mann said. “Eventually both of the suspects were taken into custody. Both of them are young offenders and we have recovered a firearm in the vehicle.”
Both suspects are now in police custody. Police say that both suspects are known to police due to previous gun charges and were, at the time of these new crimes, out on bail.
The protestor blockade stopping GO Transit service in Toronto has Torontonians and commuters unable to get home to their families.
According to a statement from GO Transit, the developing incident, specifically on Guildwood tracks, GO Trains will “have no choice but to suspend GO Train service on the Lakeshore East corridor between Union and Pickering.”
“Given the way our trains operate through our rail network, this situation has the potential to disrupt customers throughout our entire system. We encourage all customers to explore travel alternatives this evening,” the statement reads.
Additionally, Milton line service has been suspended due to what’s being called a “developing safety incident.” Train service will not resume until a thorough investigation is completed.
Blockades started earlier today, as GO Trains were halted by protestors rail near Belleville, Ontario.
The group on the tracks, known as the “Wet’suwet’en Strong: Hamilton Solidarity,” migrated to the tracks of the Bayview Junction in the Chicago-to-Toronto rail corridor that also serves Amtrak, VIA, and Go Transit, The Globe and Mail reports.
The group said in a Facebook post that they were served with an injunction by police, which they “happily burned.” The group then set up blockades on the GO tracks, which the group has said is in response to the OPP’s dismantling of blockades on Tyendaninaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville.
Those blockades were broken up Monday morning after police forced protestors to leave, eventually arresting 10 people on the scene. The blockades, which stayed up for three weeks, caused nationwide economic stagnation as both CN rail and VIA rail had to temporarily lay off employees, along with other massive inconveniences such as supply shortages.
But after the blockade was taken down, the protestors saw it fit that they continue their rallies, this time on commute tracks.
The group posted on Facebook Monday, saying that “the violence the state has perpetrated towards Indigenous land defenders and their supporters, the forced removal and criminalization of Indigenous people from their lands” was their reason for protesting. “This is a pattern that has existed since settlers came to Turtle Island and that continues to exist today.”
Another blockade has been set up on Highway 6 in Caledonia, Ontario as well. Blockades were set up by a group called Rising Tide Toronto west of Jane St. on Dundas St., earlier today.
An estimated 215,000 people take the GO Trains every day.
Anti-pipeline protestors took to the streets in both downtown Toronto and Ottawa this afternoon, bringing traffic to a halt. In Toronto, the major artery of Bloor Street was blocked. While in Ottawa, protestors stopped traffic in Byward Market.
Protests and blockades opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline have entered their 12th day, bringing traffic and the nation’s economy to a standstill.
The scene in Toronto is intense, with thousands marching.
“Obviously we’re a country of the rule of law and we need to make sure that those laws are followed,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said about the protests on Monday. “We are going to continue to focus on resolving this situation quickly and peacefully.”
Nationwide protests that claim to be in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en have exploded after RCMP arrested pipeline protestors on Wet’suwet’en territory. Protests have already effectively shut down VIA Rail and CN Rail and at least two US border crossings.
The Wet’suwet’en Tribal Council supports the pipeline project.
A huge group of anti-pipeline protestors swarmed the Toronto subway and blocked major train tracks on Saturday to spread their message of solidarity with demonstrators in northern B.C. who oppose the building of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
After riding the subway from Matt Cohen Park to Pioneer Village, chanting with megaphones the entire way, the protestors arrived at major train track near York University where they proceeded to set up a blockade.
Police served an injunction to the anti-pipeline protestors, who proceeded to burn it in defiance. Protestors also threw rocks at drones that were monitoring the situation.
The emergency action was organized by Rising Tide Toronto and Porcupine Warriors and had 684 confirmed participants on Facebook. The actual number was closer to 200.
Via Rail announced on Thursday afternoon that they are suspending all train travel across Canada as a result of the ongoing anti-pipeline blockades. Most of CN Rail traffic has been affected as well
Liberal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he “very concerned” by the anti-pipeline protestors, but has taken no action to remedy the situation thus far. There has been no definitive action taken by the Canadian government to clear the rails as of yet.
The protests and blockades began as a response to the raid of an anti-pipeline camp in Northern British Columbia that was set up to oppose the building of the Costal Gaslink pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory.
The Wet’suwet’en Tribal Council supports the pipeline project.
The drop in temperature has been a bit much for many, including the earth’s surface. Toronto experienced what are known as “frost quakes” Friday, a rare weather phenomenon.
“My girlfriend and I were sleeping—and my girlfriend is a very heavy sleeper—but this boom woke up the two of us,” said Joel Lopez, who lives near Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue to the Toronto Star.
“It was really loud.”
Lopez described the crack as sounding like a water pipe burst which he heard around 2 a.m. and again at around 7 a.m. Lopez heard another crack that he said sounded like someone dropping a dumbbell through his bathroom vent which seemed to cause a vibration.
The scientific name is “cryoseism,” and it occurs when there is a sudden drop in temperature that goes from above freezing to below 0 degrees Celcius which causes the water in the ground to freeze.
Kelly Sonnenberg a Weather Network meteorologist, explained the process of frost quakes, “The rapid cool-down allows groundwater to freeze and then expand causing loud cracking or popping sounds of the ground splitting,” Sonnenburg said. “Even minor shaking or rattling can be occasionally felt.”
Sonnenburg said that quakes are most common during midnight and dawn, when the temperatures hit their lowest overnight lows. Soil and rock that are saturated with water begin to expand which puts pressure on the soil and rock until an explosion occurs.
An extreme cold alert for Toronto has been issued by Environment Canada for Friday. Temperatures are expected to drop to -30 C with windchill for the GTA.