NEWS

Police identify man gunned down in backyard of his home

05/31/2013 12:24 EDT | Updated 07/31/2013 05:12 EDT
Toronto police have identified the man who was shot dead in the backyard of his east end home on Thursday afternoon.

Surendra Vaithilingam, 38, was found inside his residence at 17 Mantis Rd., near Morningside Avenue and Finch Avenue East, suffering from an "obvious gunshot wound" to his chest just before 3 p.m., police said.

Det. Sgt Justin Vander Heyden said Vaithilingam's brother-in-law heard the gunshot, called 911, and dragged the victim back inside the house.

The husband and father was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the shooting was targeted, but are still trying to determine a possible motive.

Vander Heyden described Vaithilingam as a "working man" and said his four-year-old son had celebrated a birthday a day earlier.

Vaithilingam, who worked at a paint shop, had helped his wife emigrate from Sri Lanka a few years ago. She was not home at the time of the shooting.

Three suspects

On Friday, police released a video from a home security camera across the street from Vaithilingam’s residence. The footage shows three people walking south on the east side of Mantis Road before walking up a driveway between two homes.

Police said a four-door North American-made sedan, with faded medium-blue paint, was also parked nearby on Bobolink Avenue and was seen fleeing the area following the shooting.

Homicide investigators have said they are looking for three male in connection with the shooting.

The first suspect is described as black, five-foot-four to five-foot-six with a dark complexion and a ponytail on the top of his head and who speaks with a heavy Jamaican accent.

The second is black, five-foot-four with a dark complexion.

The third is described as brown, with a light complexion and straight hair.

Police are asking local residents for any video that may have captured the vehicle in the neighbourhood.

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