West end councillor meets with police over 'disgusting' spike in gun violence

Apartment shooting

Toronto Police were out with word on Wednesday that the third and final suspect sought in connection with a shooting last month at a west end apartment complex has been arrested.

Five teenagers were hurt when the shooters opened fire from a stairwell.

The shooting, which happened in the area of Eglinton Ave. and Black Creek Dr., is one of several that have shaken residents in the former city of York.

The city councillor responsible for Toronto's Ward 5 admits she's never seen such a sustained level of violence in her community.

Its the one Frances Nunziata has called home for more than 50 years.

She adds that the recent spike in violence means there's a lot on her plate these days.

"We've had approximately 10 shootings in the past couple of weeks," says Nunziata.

"Residents are very concerned about their safety ... they're angry and I really am sick of (the violence) -- its disgusting."

Nunziata says in response, she met on Tuesday afternoon with local Toronto Police commanders.

"There are more resources going into 12 Division and they're targeting some of these establishments and areas where they know its gang-related," she says.

The councillor goes on to say she also has plans to press the city, as well as higher levels of government, for additional funding for youth community programs.

Nunziata says street gangs are a problem in the neighbourhoods she's responsible for and so are the bars they hang out in. 

She'd like authorities to do more to clamp down on bars that attract and allow illegal activity and the people involved.

Nunziata also met with representatives with Ontario's alcohol regulator to ask what more can be done to revoke or otherwise restrict the liquour licenses of establishments that harbour gang activity.

"Of course, they have to go through a process," Nunziata says.

"Its crazy the process you have to go through to get a liquour license revoked."

The councillor is calling on Ontario lawmakers to tighten up the rules on liquour licenses, along with the laws surrounding bail for people accused of crimes linked to guns.

"The way its being described now is that everybody's carrying a gun," she says.

Nunziata says she has promises from Toronto Police that investigators will do more to zero in on gangs and the places they operate in.

She insists they're steps in the right direction but admits that she's not sure how to stamp out the problem of gun violence for good.

"If you have establishments that are operating illegally then you should shut them down ... it would make residents in the community feel a lot safer."