TORONTO — A 21-year-old man from Markham, Ont., was charged with attempted murder a day after two young sisters were injured in an alleged shooting at a Toronto playground, police said Saturday.
Toronto police said Sheldon Eriya was arrested in Pickering on Friday in connection with the brazen daylight shooting that sent the girls, aged five and nine, to hospital on Thursday.
Eriya was due to appear in court on Saturday morning.
Police previously said that a man approached a park in east Toronto where 11 children were playing and allegedly opened fire at another man nearby.
The young sisters were struck, and were rushed to hospital with serious injuries, police said. Both have since undergone surgery and are now in stable condition.
In addition to two counts of attempted murder, Eriya has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault, discharge of a firearm, possession of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking and possession of the proceeds of a crime, police said in a press release.
“Police would like to thank the community which has been extremely helpful with this investigation,” the press release said, noting two suspects wanted in connection to the incident are still outstanding.
A spokesman for the Toronto Police Service declined to comment on the investigation.
While residents of the east-end community reeled Friday from what some described as an unprecedented burst of violence, the city’s mayor pledged “swift justice” for those responsible.
“Those who would fire into a playground full of kids playing with so little care don’t deserve to be among us here in the society that we’re building in Toronto and elsewhere in our country,” John Tory said at city hall.
Evidence of Thursday’s violence was still visible around the playground the following day. Ten bullet holes, numbered by police and circled in black marker, dotted the wooden fence that separates the small play space from a condominium parking lot.
The pavement just steps from the playground was stained with what appeared to be dried blood.
The Canadian Press