Suspects who allegedly shot TTC worker with BB gun assaulted another person at a mall, police say
Suspects who allegedly shot a TTC employee with a BB gun last week are believed to be responsible for assaulting another person with a weapon at a Scarborough mall, Toronto police said.
The incident occurred at the lower entrance of the Walmart Supercentre at Scarborough Town Centre on the evening of Jan. 20.
Police said one person was standing at the entrance when they were struck with a “projectile.”
The suspects were seen driving away in a dark-coloured van, police said.
The next day, police responded to another assault in the Markham Road and Progress Avenue area at around 6:15 p.m.
A TTC employee was standing at a bus shelter, waiting for the bus she was taking over to arrive when a dark-coloured, four-door sedan stopped in front of her.
Police said a passenger in the vehicle allegedly shot the transit worker with an orange-tipped, rifle-style gun that fired small projectiles.
The TTC worker was struck twice, police said. The suspect fled the area in the vehicle.
Police said both victims suffered minor injuries.
On Wednesday, police released a limited description of one of the suspects.
He is between 15 and 19 years old and white with a thin build, and wearing all-dark clothing.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 416-808-4300 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477 (TIPS) or www.222tips.com.
The TTC worker, 24-year-old Alexandra Stoeckle, has since spoken out about what happened.
She said the suspects shouted "F--- you, TTC" at her before they drove away.
Stoeckle recounted checking her head after she was shot, expecting to find a gaping hole.
"I just kept patting my face, and once I realized there's no blood, there's nothing there -- after I kind of realized okay, at least it wasn't bullets -- that's when it hit that I was just shot for being a TTC employee," she said.
Stoeckle, who began working at the TTC 16 months ago, wrote an open letter to Mayor John Tory and TTC CEO Rick Leary following the incident, calling on them to create a committee that includes transit workers to address the recent violent incidents.
"We don't deserve that," she said. "There has to be change. And people need to remember we are human beings, we have families, and we are people before we are TTC employees."
On Wednesday, the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents transit workers across Canada, called for a national transit safety task force, saying attacks on the TTC have reached "crisis levels."
"We need to ensure that the riding public has safe, reliable and affordable transit across this city and across this country. And we can ill afford to do that by sitting on our hands and just triaging every incident as it's a one-off," John Di Nino said.
"It's only a matter of time, unfortunately, before these injuries become catastrophic and start to take lives. We need to act now. Not tomorrow, now.”