Dameion McFarland, 34, was not the intended target but happened to answer the door, detective says
Toronto police say they are seeking three suspects in the murder of Dameion McFarland in February.
McFarland, 34, of Toronto, was killed in a shooting on Wednesday, February 1 in an apartment building near Jane Street and Finch Avenue West. He is Toronto's sixth murder victim of the year.
Det. Rob North, spokesperson for Toronto Police Service's homicide squad, said police believe McFarland was not the intended target but happened to be at the residence at the time and was the person who answered the door. He suffered at least one shotgun wound.
"He was shot even before he got the door fully open," North told reporters on Monday. "He was not supposed to be there that night, so he is a completely innocent victim in this."
Police say they were called to 2999 Jane St., a residential highrise building in northwest Toronto, for a call about a shooting at 10:17 p.m. on that day.
When police from 31 Division arrived along with paramedics, they found McFarland suffering from life-threatening injuries. Paramedics tried to save his life, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
At least two other males were in the unit at the time and police believe one of them was the intended target.
North said officers canvassed the building, interviewed residents and obtained security camera footage with the help of Toronto Community Housing officials.
"Despite this, we have been unable to identify the persons responsible for the murder of Mr. McFarland," North said.
"Therefore, we've reached a point in the investigation where we need to reach out to the community and request, that if we have not spoken to you, or if you can identify or have any idea of who these three individuals are in these posters, we request that you contact the homicide squad.
"Based on the video we have to date and our investigation, we believe that these three males are the ones responsible for the murder of Mr. McFarland."
The third suspect appears to be holding a shotgun, with the butt covered in green tape, close to his body. (Toronto Police Service)
At the news conference, police showed video footage of the three suspects entering and leaving the building immediately after the murder.
The first suspect enters through the front lobby, goes to the rear of the building, and opens a door to let in the second and third suspects. The three walk down a hallway, make their way to some stairs and walk upstairs. Then they leave using the same stairwell.
Only about five minutes passes between the time they enter the building and leave, North said.
In the video, the first suspect is wearing white shoes and blue plaid pajama bottoms with his face covered. The second suspect is wearing all black with a red backpack. The third suspect is wearing a two-tone grey jacket and appears to be holding, in his left hand, an object close to his body.
When the third suspect runs by after the shooting, North said the butt of a shotgun is visible next to his body, with green tape covering the handle.
North acknowledged that the suspects appear to know their way around the building. He said someone may recognize their clothing, the backpack, their mannerisms and the way they walk.
"At the end of the day, they really didn't waste a lot of time," he said. "We really don't know what the motive was."
He said police have no information to lead them to believe the shooting was gang-related in any way.
McFarland was a hard working man, with a full-time job, and he was scheduled to leave the country on business the next day, he said. Police are in contact with members of his extended family.
"Just like us, they want some answers. In speaking to his family, he was a really lovely gentleman."