Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hard At Work On The Ellis-Martin Case

Saturday morning there was a story in the Star regarding the Ellis-Martin murder of Friday night. A cop was interviewed, and he was asked whether the killing was "random." His response was interesting:

Det. Sgt. Gary Giroux will not accept that Toronto has become a place where citizens are gunned down in random, unprovoked attacks.

"I don't believe it," he said yesterday standing metres from a flower memorial marking the site of the latest shootings to shake a city used to gun violence.

No, Toronto's not a place where a thing like that would ever happen. Giroux went on to say that "These people were the intended targets...And there's going to be a motive. I've done this for almost 12 years and there always is one. There's going to be a catalyst for it."

And when you read that quote, you think about possible motives: drugs, robbery, carjacking, etc. All reasons why someone might be targeted for eight bullets on a city street.

But here's the latest development: Cops are sticking with this "targeted" story. But now it's not a carjacking that precipitated the shooting; rather it's a...wait for it...a look. Or a perceived slight.

No, it's not a random killing at all. They were looking at the shooter. They might have turned away from him. He felt wronged in some way. Maybe they even sneezed while looking at him. Or scratched a chin.

So if that's the case--if being looked at is now a legitimate motive for committing homicide--then maybe Detective Giroux ought to reconsider his high opinion of this city's character.

But this grasping-for-a-motive stuff is terribly pathetic. It's even at the point where they're saying that the shooter could have been angered by the expensive SUV they were driving. And that was it. That set him off.

That's not a motive. You can't kill someone because you hate wedge heels, then have some glassy-eyed political hack say, "Random killings...No, not in Toronto. Just make sure you wear sensible shoes. Don't invite trouble."

This reminds me of a day a few months ago when I was walking up Yonge Street at College. A couple guys walked toward me--they were young, wearing huge gold-plated belts--and one spit at my feet. No reason. He just spit at me.

Now I'm thinking: Was my jacket dirty. I know, I should've got that stain cleaned. That must've angered him. "See this guy walking? See that stain on his jacket? What's he eating, jam? I'm so...I'm so angry. [Spit]."

I don't understand why the incoherent pillars of Toronto's media being allowed past the velvet rope for this one. This is a story. And they're treating it like a Grade 3creative writing assignment.

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