Toronto’s police chief said the city remains “the safest in North America” despite a spike in homicides this year, including a recent shooting that killed a pregnant woman in a car.
Mark Saunders said there are no simple solutions to complex issues such as gun violence, but stresses the force is doing what it can to reach out to the communities hardest hit by crime.
The chief says co-operation from those communities is key to solving crimes, including Sunday’s shooting, which claimed the life of Candice Rochelle Bobb, of Mississauga, Ont.
Her baby was delivered prematurely by emergency C-section and was said Monday to be in stable condition. Saunders said he did not have updated information on the baby’s health.
Bobb, who was five months pregnant, became Toronto’s 29th homicide victim in a year police said has seen a marked increase in guns on city streets.
There were 15 homicides at this time last year, and 20 at the same time the previous year, Saunders said, noting a similar trend has been observed in several other major cities in North America.
The police chief said he believes Sunday’s slaying is “solvable,” provided those with information speak out.
“We still have to work together to solve these homicides as best as possible, especially the ones that are out in public spaces,” he said in a news conference.
“Those who have that information need to come forward… Public outrage will not be enough.”
Bobb, 35, was shot late Sunday while returning from watching a basketball game.
Police said she was in a vehicle in the city’s northwest end with three other people at the time of the shooting.
The occupants of the vehicle were not known to police, but officers said the vehicle was the clear target of the shooting.
Police have not said how many suspects they a seeking in the shooting but said the gunfire came from a vehicle.