Toronto police are urging an “armed and dangerous” male suspect, who they believe has ties to a street gang whose members were involved in the Eaton Centre shooting, to turn himself in.
Police descended on a stretch of Kingston Road in east-end Toronto on Thursday afternoon in search of Nicholas Dillion-Jack.
Dillion-Jack, 18, is wanted for attempted murder in connection with a stabbing that occurred in Kensington Market last month.
CBC News has learned he is also the prime suspect in two recent shooting incidents that targeted residents of Alexandra Park, in which bullets struck trees and pierced a window.
Thursday’s search effort for Dillion-Jack in the quiet, residential streets of the Upper Beach area lasted about two hours and involved the emergency task force.
At least 15 area schools locked their doors while police searched for the suspect.
Const. Tony Vella told reporters at about 3 p.m. ET that police had attempted to apprehend the suspect earlier in the afternoon, but he had escaped.
“Officers were being proactive, they did receive information,” said Vella.
“They were in the area. That’s when they spotted the man, they chased after him. They lost the man in the area and a perimeter was set up.”
Residents in the neighbourhood said they were rattled by the search.
Shannon McAuley told CBC News she was, "frightened, and worried about how I would get back to the house fast enough with two very small girls, and I was really dragging one of them."
Police are urging Dillion-Jack to contact a lawyer and turn himself in. Anyone who sees him is asked to call police immediately.
Helping him is a serious crime, police say.
"I urge you, if you know where he is, do not harbour the man, but…contact police. Call 911."
The CBC’s John Lancaster reported Thursday that police allege Dillion-Jack is an associate of a Regent Park street gang known as the Sic Thugz, who have rivals in Alexandra Park.
Police believe the man charged in the shooting at the Eaton Centre, Christopher Husbands, is a member of the Sic Thugz.
Police sources also told CBC news that while Dillion-Jack was evading them he was using Twitter, posting "God on my side" and "F--K THE FEDZ..."
His Twitter profile shows a recent Toronto newspaper cover with the headline, "Summer of the Gun Part 2"