NEWS

Accused Fort McMurray coke dealer targeted in Toronto shooting

06/04/2012 12:42 EDT | Updated 08/04/2012 05:12 EDT

A man shot and killed in a downtown Toronto mall Saturday afternoon was facing drug charges in Fort McMurray, Alta., and had survived two previous attempts on his life.

Ahmed Hassan, 24, was charged with cocaine trafficking in January 2010, along with five other people.

He was also charged with obstructing a police officer and possession of stolen goods.

Hassan failed to appear in court on the charges, leading to the issue of two warrants for his arrest.

One of Hassan's co-accused, a 19-year-old man from the Toronto area, was killed three months later in a Fort McMurray apartment.

The victim's father, Abdul Kadir Ali, told CBC News that Hassan was a suspect in the death of his son, Abdinasir Dirie.

Hassan was out on bail at the time for the alleged forcible confinement of another Fort McMurray man, Jama Ahmed Mahamoud, in September 2008.

Charged with robbery, assault, confinement

Hassan was one of six Somali Canadians charged with robbery, assault and unlawful confinement.

Under the conditions of his bail, he was supposed to be living with his parents in Edmonton.

Hassan eventually pleaded guilty to assault and theft in the incident.

Toronto police believe Hassan and a second man shot several times in the neck and chest were the intended targets of Saturday's shooting at the Eaton Centre.

Police allege that both belong to gangs, however Det. Sgt. Brian Borg told reporters Monday that the shooting that wounded the men is not believed to have been gang-motivated.

Five other people were also hurt in the shooting at the Toronto mall, including a 13-year-old boy still in hospital after being shot in the head.

Toronto police announced Monday that a male suspect had turned himself in overnight.

Christopher Husbands, 23, of Toronto, has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder.

He appeared in a Toronto court on Monday afternoon.

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