Toronto Police forensic team investigates the shooting at the Garden Restaurant Nov. 16, 2014.

Toronto’s 50th murder victim was shot numerous times

Police ask for more witnesses at crowded Dundas Street West restaurant to come forward

More information has been released in the death of 31 year-old Tariq Mohammed, who was shot at a crowded Chinatown restaurant on Nov.16.

Police have revealed that Mohammed’s friend was robbed at the Garden Restaurant just seconds before Mohammed was killed.

According to Detective Sergeant Gary Giroux, the suspects were loitering near the washrooms at the back of the restaurant.

When Mohammed and his friend left their seats at the front of the restaurant, the suspects drew guns and stole two gold chains from Mohammed’s friend.

Det. Sgt. Giroux said Mohammed’s friend’s gold chains were “very prominent” and worth anywhere between $2,000 to $3,000.

“He was wearing expensive clothing, he had rings on, he had an expensive-looking wrist watch,” Det. Sgt. Giroux said at a press conference. “He could have very well been targeted based on the fact that the chains were very apparent and looked expensive.”

A fight broke out after the robbery, and Mohammed and his friend managed to break free from the suspects, heading toward the front of the restaurant.

The suspects followed and a second fight broke out. Several shots were fired, and Mohammed was killed instantly, said Det. Sgt. Giroux. Mohammed was shot numerous times.

The stray bullets hit a 20 and a 28 year-old woman who were eating at the restaurant at the time. They were later treated at hospital.

“When the shooting started, dozens fled the scene. Others took cover under tables,” Det. Sgt. Giroux. said.

Three to five suspects fled the scene. One suspect is described as black, 5-foot-11 with a lanky build wearing a black toque and black hoodie. A second suspect is described as shorter, with bulging eyes, hair in cornrows and wearing a dark hoodie with a logo or writing on the front.

“95 per cent of patrons were very well-dressed, clearly coming from a nightclub. The men and women were dressed up,” Det. Sgt. said. “The offenders come in, in hooded sweatshirts, kind of dressed down, more grungy-looking.”

Police are working on releasing the surveillance footage of the restaurant.

“The difficulty we are experiencing is that suspects are mixed in with a number of patrons that were present at the time of the shooting,” Det. Sgt. Giroux said. “Efforts are being made to blur those individual images so it will accentuate the offenders’ images.”

Police are appealing for more patrons who were dining at the 153 Dundas St. W. restaurant at the time of the shooting to come forward.

“I would continue to encourage people to come forward,” Det. Sgt. Giroux said. “I’m encouraged by the fact that a dozen of them came forward.”