A 24-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder and extortion after allegedly striking an employee of a Vaughan law firm with a gun and then later firing shots at the business.
York Regional Police were called to 3550 Rutherford Road, west of Highway 400, on Aug. 29 after receiving a report of a woman being threatened with a handgun. According to investigators, the woman was sitting inside her vehicle with the window down when the suspect allegedly approached her with a gun.
Police said the suspect made demands, threatened the victim and struck her with the gun before leaving the area in a beige-coloured SUV.
About a week later, police said they believe the same suspect returned to the law firm and fired multiple shots through the front window of the business.
There were several employees inside the building at the time of the shooting, police said, but no one was injured.
Police said the suspect fled the scene in a vehicle.
At the time, Const. Andy Pattenden said that it was “unclear why this person is using such aggression towards this business and its people.”
After receiving tips from the community, investigators were able to identify a suspect. He was taken into custody on Saturday near Burnhamthorpe Road and The East Mall in Toronto.
Toronto-resident Qalid Abderezak is facing numerous charges, including attempted murder, extortion, robbery and assault with a weapon.
The charges have not been tested in court.
“This incident has demonstrated that York Regional Police, working together with our community, will not tolerate gun violence,” said York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe. “Those who choose to bring illegal firearms into York Region and threaten community safety will be found and brought before our courts to be held accountable for their careless actions.”
Police said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is being asked to contact York Regional Police or reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously.