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Taken: Toronto's homicide victims in 2013

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O’Marie Brooks, 22 On Jan. 1, police responded to a call for a stabbing in the parking lot of Randy’s Sports Bar in North York. Brooks was driven to hospital by friends where he later died. Nicholas Silvera, 29, of Toronto, turned himself in the next day and was charged with second-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Tyson Bailey, 15 “He was always a pleasant child. . . That’s all he used to do, smile,” said mother Christina Scott. “In the community you could never hear no tell of this child . . . What we gon’ do. Can’t bring him back.” On Jan. 18, emergency crews found Bailey shot at the top of a stairwell in a Regent Park apartment. Paramedics had to carry him down 12 flights of stairs after the elevators were inoperable. He died shortly after arriving at a hospital. His killer has not been found. www.thestar.com
Bridget Takyi, 27 “She took pride in working hard for her children and taking good care of them. Her children came first in everything that she did and she always made sure that her children had what they needed,” read a funeral tribute from Takyi’s mother. “As a mother, Ama was so self-sufficient that you will see her carrying one child in each arm while also carrying their many bags and when you will ask her if she needed help, she will give you a shy smile and say, ‘No.’” On Jan. 19, police were called to Richgrove Dr., in Mt. Dennis for unknown trouble. They discovered Takyi burned and brutally stabbed beyond recognition. She died of multiple sharp force injuries. Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, 30, the father of Takyi’s two children, was charged with first-degree murder. He had previously been charged with several counts of assault and uttering a death threat against Takyi, but had been released on bail Dec. 5, 2012. www.thestar.com
Jose Ignacio Ortiz, 65 On Jan. 19, police responded to a gas leak call at an apartment in the west end where they found Ortiz dead from blunt force trauma to the head. Leahann Hohmann, 50, was arrested on Jan. 23 and charged with second-degree murder. She has previously faced manslaughter charges and struggled with mental illness, according to family. www.thestar.com
Nyumwai Caroline Mkurazhizha, 23 On Feb. 2, police were called a North York home for unknown trouble. They found Mzurazhizha strangled. She later died in hospital. The woman, original from Zimbabwe, was the daughter of former police commissioner Henry Mkurazhizha. Mohamed Adam Bharwani, 18, of Toronto, was charged with first-degree murder. Police say the two had “no relationship.” www.thestar.com
St. Aubyn Rodney, 15 “He’s always the life of the party and (had) a ton of jokes to tell,” said Jordan McFarlane, Rodney’s former basketball coach. “He always felt like he wanted to be a part of something special.” On Feb. 11, Rodney was shot in the torso inside his Turf Grassway apartment near Jane and Finch. He was inside with friends when a gun appeared and he was shot. He didn’t survive the night. A 17-year-old teen said to be Rodney’s friend was arrested and charged with manslaughter. www.thestar.com
Naveed Shahnawaz, 19 “He’d always call me coach,” said Mike Di Florio, who met Shahnawaz when he walked into his Bramlea Boxing Club at age 10. He would go on to be one of his best boxers and a “formidable” fighter, but never lost his gentlemanly nature. “He’d walk in and say: “‘Hi coach, how’s your day coach?’ He was such a respectful kid.” On Feb. 10, Shahnawaz was hit by gunfire in the parking lot outside Musik nightclub. On Feb. 15, after several days in hospital in critical condition, he was taken off life support. SIU were called in to investigate after police officers shot a car fleeing the scene. A 23-year-old man was also injured. Tony Hoang Dinh, 18, is charged with first-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Jarvis Montaque, 15 “Jarvis, he fit in . . . He’s not afraid to act stupid, or dance or make a joke,” Roshea Gunnis said of her 15-year-old brother who moved from Jamaica to live with his parents and 10 sisters. Outside the home he was shy and reserved. But inside the walls of the family home he was always laughing. “When he first came, he was just like, ‘Here I am!’ . . . I’m going to miss not seeing him in the morning.” On Feb. 17, Montaque was listening to music with two friends outside his Rexdale home when a man approached and shot once into the group. Montaque later died of a gunshot wound to the chest. His killer has not been found. www.thestar.com
Thuan (Tony) Nguyen, 25 On Feb. 24, police found a man shot five times in a rear parking lot after police believe he attended VY VY Restaurant and Lounge in Rexdale. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His killer has not been caught. www.thestar.com
Michael Cocomello Mandino, 20 “He loved my baking,” says mother Sandra Cocomello. She made him a strawberry shortcake, his favourite, for his 20th birthday in February - less than a month before he was killed. “He was every mom’s dream.” On March 4, police were called to a west-end apartment for a man suffering obvious stab wounds. Police said he’d left the apartment he shared with his mother and was stabbed less than a block away. He managed to return to doorstep of his apartment, where his mother came to his aid before emergency crews arrived. He later died in hospital. A youth was arrested for his murder in August. www.thestar.com
Kamanlall Singh, 49 On March 6, police responded to a call for ambulance at a Rexdale apartment where a man was found beaten to death. Police said the victim got into a fight with girlfriend Helena Gonsalves, 50 and mutual friend Eustache Economou, 39. Both have been charged with second-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Joycelyn Dickson, 72 On March 14, police received a call for an assault in progress at the Wexford Residence Long-Term Care facility in the east end. Dickson was found bludgeoned to death. Another 91-year-old woman was also injured. Peter Roy Brooks, 72, another resident of the home, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault. www.thestar.com
Nisan Nirmalendran, 21 On March 21, police were called to a senior’s home on Bleecker St. for the sound of gunshots. Police found Nirmalendran suffering life-threatening wounds after he used an elderly woman believed to be in her 90s as a human shield against his attacker. His killer has not been caught. Nirmalendran’s brother Nixon was killed last year in the Eaton Centre shooting that left one other dead. www.thestar.com
Anthony Smith, 21 On March 28, police were called to King St. West. for reports of a shooting. Two men were located on the sidewalk suffering from gunshot injuries, including Smith who had been shot in the head. Both men were taken hospital where Smith died shortly after. Both men were at Loki Lounge prior to the shooting. Nasir Hashimi and Hanad Mohamed were both arrested and charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault. Hashimi plead guilty to charges of manslaughter. Since then, Smith has been connected to an ongoing scandal involving Mayor Rob Ford. A picture taken of Smith and Ford with two alleged gang members was taken outside what police called a “trap house (crack house).” www.thestar.com
Michael Nguyen, 23 On March 30, police were called to Yorkdale Mall for reports of shots fired in the parking lot. Two men were located in the west parking lot suffering from gunshot wounds. Nguyen was pronounced dead at the scene. The other man, 24, recovered in hospital. Police said an altercation is believed to have started inside the mall and spilled out into the parking lot. There have been no arrests. www.thestar.com
Ji (George) Jia, 59 & Shi (Shirley) Zhou, 51 On March 31, police attended an east end home after a relative called 9-1-1. Jia and Zhou were found dead inside. Their son, Li Tian Jia, 26, was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Natasha Perez, 28 “She was a beautiful person,” said cousin Daniela Alvarez. On April 6, police were called to Perez’s Regent Park apartment for unknown trouble. Perez, a young mother, was found suffering from obvious signs of trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy showed she died of a neck wound. Brian Harte, 42, of Toronto, was charged with second-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Kwado "Kojo" Mensah, 20 On April 25, police were called to a Scarborough housing complex for the sound of gunshots. Mensah was pronounced dead at the scene with a fatal wound to the chest. Later that evening, police were called to hospital for a 32-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his lower body. The two shootings are believed to be connected. Mensah was a former Don Bosco football player who was coached by Mayor Rob Ford. Sheldon Ashton Scrubb, 18, of Milton was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Dylan Palumbo, 28 “Last year, his old roommate and him adopted a pet pig that was supposed to be a ‘mini pig’ that would stay small and be suitable as a household pet. That adorable little pig, named Basket, had mostly free run of his place and lived like a squealing pet puppy,” said high school friend Chris Orbz. “Does that sound like something typical of a gangster’s drug den? No, but it was typical of a positive, fun and silly home environment like the one Dylan was trying to maintain for himself and his friends.” On April 25, police were called for a home invasion at a North York apartment where they found Palumbo suffering from stab wounds after he was attacked in the shower. Police alleged two armed men were involved in the attack. No one has been caught. www.thestar.com
Valence Mills, 47 On April 29, police responded to a call for a fight at north-end apartment. They found Mills suffering from obvious trauma and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Toronto man Ian Senior, 30, was charged with first-degree murder.
Alan Clements, 58 On April 30, police responded to a stabbing in Scarborough where they found Clements suffering from obvious wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Toronto man Kalib Dufty, 23, was charged with second-degree murder. Clements was a father of two and grandfather of three. www.thestar.com
Quincy Martin Ramirez, 35 “Here you see him celebrating his 33rd birthday. Quincy ways the life of the party,” said sister Ursula Ramirez. “He called it ‘The Quinsation Party.’ Everyone was invited and it was white attire – Huge BBQ, plenty of food, great drinks and of course amazing music. At the end of the night he finished it off with fireworks. Quincy went all out. He loved celebrating his birthday. He loved life, his family and friends and he always showed it . . . Quincy was my only brother and he meant the world to me.” On May 19, police were called to an Ossington Ave. and Dundas. St. apartment for sounds of gunfire. Police found Ramirez suffering from obvious gunshot wounds. He later died in hospital. Toronto man Edwin Scott Parkinson, 67, was charged with first-degree murder. Police say the two men had a long-standing dispute over renovations that went to small claims court. www.thestar.com
Baby Spanidis, ~1 On May 23, police were called to a Toronto hospital where 25-year-old Angelica Spanidis was admitted. Staff said she had recently given birth, but there was no baby to be found. The baby’s body was later recovered in Cambridge, Ont. after police received information it had been dumped in a clothing bank bin. Spanidis was charged with first-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Surendra Vaithilingam, 38 On May 29, police were called to a Malvern area home where Vaithilingam had been fatally shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say three men approached the house in broad daylight as Vaithilingam worked on interlock in the backyard for his child’s upcoming birthday party. They have not been caught. www.thestar.com
Xin Ying Lu, 66 On June 1, police were called to a home in Scarborough for a woman who was suffering obvious signs of trauma. She later died in hospital. Police arrested Lu’s son, Jianwen Chen. He is charged with second-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Byron Linares, 27 On June 16, police responded to a call for a shooting at a North York apartment. Police discovered Linares shot once. www.thestar.com
Rebecca Ransome, 27 “Taken from us suddenly and far too soon in Toronto in the early morning of June 27th. Dearly loved by her heartbroken parents Gord and Liz,” her obituary read. On June 26, police were called to an apartment near Broadview Ave. and Danforth Ave. for a medical call and found Ransome, a legal assistant at McCarthy Tétrault, stabbed in the chest. She was pronounced dead in hospital. Her boyfriend, 26-year-old Kyle Padmore, was charged with second-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Hussein Sobrie, 45 On July 9, police responded to a call at an apartment near Sherbourne St. and Dundas St. where they found a Sobrie already dead. Derrick Witter, 52, is charged with manslaughter. www.thestar.com
Janina Wrigglesworth, 72 On July 13, emergency crews responded to a fire at a North York apartment. Later the body of Wrigglesworth was discovered. Blake Anthony Wilson, 26, is charged with first-degree murder. It’s not known how Wrigglesworth – who worked in the sex trade and taxes – knew Wilson. www.thestar.com
Nicholas Cruz, 2 On July 14, police were called to a local hospital for the death of a toddler who had signs of injuries. His mother Marleny Cruz, 25, and her common-law partner Joel France, 36, were both charged with second-degree murder. France is also charged with assault. Court documents show the boy was killed sometime between May 14 and July 14. www.thestar.com
Tatiana Khalilova, 49, Svetlana Babaega, 76, & Victor Zybin, 76 On July 15, police were called to a townhome in Etobicoke for unknown trouble where they discovered three dead. In a nearby ravine, officers confronted 22-year-old Alexander Khalilov, who was wielding a knife. He was arrested and charged with three counts of second-degree murder. Those killed are his mother, aunt and uncle. www.thestar.com
Christopher Kotsopoulos, 26 “He loved fishing. He loved the country. My parents have a cottage, you know, they used to go up there all the time. That was definitely a favourite thing of his,” said his uncle Jim Kotsopoulos. “He loved his family. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for his family or his friends.” On Aug. 5, police and paramedics were in the Swansea Mews area when shots rang out. They responded to a common area in the community housing complex and found Kotsopoulos suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. No gun or suspects were found. www.thestar.com
Yusuf Ahmed, 21 On Aug. 12, police were called to a shooting on near Weston Rd. just outside of Rexdale where they found Ahmed shot in the upper body. He was later pronounced dead in hospital. On Aug. 21 and 22, police arrested 18-year-old Yasin Abdulle and 21-year-old Michael Monney, and charged them with first-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Tahj Loor-Walters, 15 On July 28, police responded to a shooting near Jane and Finch and found Loor-Walters shot in the parking lot of the Yorkwoods Plaza. Police say surveillance footage shows Loor-Walters rolling up to a cream-coloured car on his bicycle with dozens of others standing around when he is shot. He died Aug. 13 in hospital. No suspects have been arrested. www.thestar.com
O’She Doyles-Whyte, 16 & Kwame Duodu, 15 On Aug. 23, police were called to a complex on Grandravine Dr. near Jane and Finch for a shooting. They located Doyles-Whyte shot dead and a wounded Duodu, who was transported to hospital and died hours later. Three people were seen fleeing the scene on bicycles, which were later recovered. No suspects have been arrested. www.thestar.com
Yusuf Tifow, 16 On Sept. 1, police were called for a shooting at an apartment in the Weston Rd. community where they found Tifow with an obvious gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead in hospital. Another teen, 14, was charged with manslaughter. www.thestar.com
Anthony Koko Chang, 62 “He would speed walk regularly, clipping a pedometer on one side of his belt (which held up his pants way too high with a stained t-shirt tucked in), and a musical-practice metronome on the other side of his belt to help him keep his pace while speed walking,” his son Maurice wrote in a Buzzfeed post online. “He’d enter his daily step-count religiously into an Excel spreadsheet that he started literally a decade ago. He’d cook vegetarian porridges in his underwear with various types of millet, grain, rice, vegetables, and ginger, and slurp it loudly as he watched video-tutorials on a type of Chinese healing body-pressure-point treatment, which he’d then go around the city offering treatments to the happiest of ‘patients’ for free (or for gas money) despite struggling (not desperately struggling, but border-lining on discomfort) to keep bill payments on time.” On Sept. 12, police were called to a North York home where they found Chang suffering stab wounds. Kimnarine Keshan Maharaj, 24, faces charges of second-degree murder. Police say the two men met when their vehicles collided on Sept. 10 – Chang on his scooter and Maharaj in a work truck. Chang, being a spiritual man, decided to give Maharaj a break and settle on damages outside of insurance. The two men had planned to meet and police believe they were disputing over the amount in quoted damage to Chang’s scooter. www.thestar.com
Dominic Parker, 45 “45 years young and a fiercely proud ‘Beacher,’ Dom lived the dream until September 16, 2013 when he was taken from us far too suddenly,” his obituary read. “In a lifetime filled with adventure, he was a 48th Highlander, bicycle courier, film worker, and a firefighter with the Markham Fire Department. Dominic also had a love of fishing, hunting and piloting his Zodiac in and around Toronto harbor and at ‘The Farm.’ His infectious smile and way with words warmed the hearts of all he came into contact with.” On Sept. 14, police were called to Rotana Cafe on Danforth Ave. where they found an off-duty fireman, Parker, stabbed inside. Nabil Huruy, 23, fled and was later arrested. After Parker died in hospital, Huruy’s was charged with first-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Kahivesa Kavenandjamo, 25 On Sept. 17, police were called to the back parking lot of a Willowridge apartment complex where they found Kavenadjamo suffering from obvious gunshot wounds inside the passenger seat of a parked vehicle. He had been shot through a closed window. He later died in hospital. No suspect has been arrested. www.thestar.com
Merlishar Holder, 31 On Sept. 20, police were called to an Eglinton Ave. West apartment for a stabbing. They found Holder dead in the hallway, stabbed in the neck, and a man, said to be her boyfriend, dead from an apparent suicide after jumping from the apartment balcony. www.thestar.com
Deronn Earle, 31 On Sept. 23, police were called to a shooting on Queen St. East and Ontario St. where they found Earle lying on the sidewalk. He later died in hospital. No suspects have been arrested. www.thestar.com
Rigat Essag Ghirmay, 28 On May 24, police were called to a trail near Jane St. and Eglinton Ave. after a civilian found a bag with Ghirmay’s dismembered torso. Adonay Zekarias, 42, a man who Ghirmay was living with and who is also accused in the murder of another Eritrean woman, Nighisti Semret, is charged with first-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Rameez Khalid, 19 On Oct. 6, police were called to Richmond St. East and York St. during Nuit Blanche for a stabbing where they found Khalid suffering from injuries. Police say Khalid and a group had a fight inside a pop-up rave several blocks away that was not part of the festivities and were approached by the group again when Khalid was attacked. He later died in hospital. Emanuel Lozada, 22, is wanted for second-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Leila Chandrapaul, 37 On Oct. 13, police responded to a call for a stabbing at 33 King St. where they found Chandrapaul with obvious wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her partner, Areef Khan, 34, was charged with second-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Danny La, 22 A former shoe store employee and George Brown College student, La’s friends knew him as the “Footwear King.” “He was quite a character,” said former coworker Ranjana Kaur. “He was a really good friend. Funny.” On, Sept. 30, police responded to a man severely beaten in Chinatown. He was taken to hospital and died weeks later. www.thestar.com
Yassin Obsien, 31 On Nov. 1, police were called to the Regent Park area where Obsien was found dead, run over by a vehicle. Police believe Osien and a man had been in an altercation when Obsien was knocked unconscious on the road. An uninvolved driver passed by, hitting him. Police arrested 40-year-old Jeffrey Mark and charged him with manslaughter. www.thestar.com
Francisco Da Silva, 87 "Our dad was such a quiet, sweet old man who didn't know the English language but never forgot to say 'please and thank-you,'" said daughter Ariovalda Do Vale. On Nov. 9, police were called to Casteview Wynchwood nursing home on Christie St. where they found DaSilva dead with head injuries. Police arrested Francesco Greco, 81, his roommate, at the home and charged him with second-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Gaethan Kitadi, 20 On Nov. 10, police were called to an apartment on Main St. in the east end for a shooting. They found Kitadi shot in a hallway of his building after he and guests were celebrating his birthday upstairs. Surveillance footage caught several men in a scuffle with Kitadi in the hallway moments earlier when someone pulled a gun and Kitadi was shot in the back. www.thestar.com
Neeko Mitchell, 25 On Nov. 25, police were called to the North Kipling Community Centre where Mitchell was found shot with what police believe were high-velocity rounds. Police said he was there to watch his little brother play in a basketball tournament. His killer has not been found. www.thestar.com
Janet Williams, 60 On Nov. 25, police were called to a Lawrence Park home for a stabbing. Williams was found with stab wounds and later died in hospital. Her son, Neil Williams, 27, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Janet Williams, 60 On Nov. 25, police were called to a Lawrence Park home for a stabbing. Williams was found with stab wounds and later died in hospital. Her son, Neil Williams, 27, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. www.thestar.com
Janet Williams, 60 On Nov. 25, police were called to a Lawrence Park home for a stabbing. Williams was found with stab wounds and later died in hospital. Her son, Neil Williams, 27, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. www.thestar.com