NEWS

Shotgun blast killed man in Oriole Park, police say

05/10/2012 04:19 EDT | Updated 07/10/2012 05:12 EDT

Toronto police say a man found dead in Oriole Park was killed by a single shotgun blast at close range.

At a news conference this afternoon, Det. Sgt. Gary Giroux revealed that James Massey, 32, of Toronto, was the man who was gunned down in Oriole Park in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Massey was a general labourer who was a long-time Toronto resident.

Police found him lying on his back, near a children’s playground in the park just after 3 a.m. on Wednesday. Responding officers performed CPR on Massey, but he was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Giroux said the police investigation has determined that Massey got into an argument with a male suspect who shot him dead in the park.

“Prior to the 911 call, a single angry raised voice could be heard by area residents, prior to the sound of that single gunshot,” Giroux said.

“The argument is described by the witnesses as one-sided.”

Residents heard angry voices

The argument went on long enough to give local residents enough time “to go to their window to make observations towards where these angry voices could be heard from,” he said.

The suspect then left the park on foot, heading toward a series of highrise buildings on Lascelles Boulevard.

Witnesses have described the suspect as a white male in his late 20s with a medium build who is between five foot eight and five foot 10 inches tall.

He was unshaven, had visible facial hair and was wearing a black or dark hooded sweatshirt and baggy blue jeans when he was seen exiting the park.

An autopsy has determined that the cause of Massey’s death was a “close-range shotgun blast to the abdomen,” Giroux said.

However, the suspect was not seen carrying a gun, which Giroux said has left police unclear as to whether it may have been sawed-off, or concealed under clothing.

Giroux said that the motive for the shooting was not robbery and that police believe Massey and the suspect had “some kind of pre-existing baggage,” before the fatal shooting, and the attack was not random in nature.

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