NEWS

Tariq Mohammed's friend was robbed before shooting, police say

11/24/2014 03:32 EST | Updated 01/24/2015 05:59 EST
Toronto police say men with guns ripped a pair of pricey gold chains off the neck of a man inside the Garden Restaurant, just moments before a shooting broke out that left one person dead and two others injured.

Det.-Sgt. Gary Giroux spoke to reporters Monday about the ongoing investigation into the killing of Tariq Mohammed on the morning of Nov. 16.

Mohammed and a group of friends had been at the Muzik nightclub and then gone out for food at the popular restaurant located on Dundas Street West in Toronto's Chinatown neighbourhood.

Giroux said police had initially estimated that 30 people were present at the time of the shooting, but it turns out there were twice that many people at the restaurant.

"It was full," said Giroux.

Mohammed, his friend and the rest of their group were seated at a table at the front of the restaurant where they had ordered food.

Police have since learned that Mohammed's friend was robbed of jewelry at the back of the restaurant, when he went to the washroom — where Giroux said at least three suspects were hanging about.

The suspects "attacked" Mohammed's friend, as they took his chains by force. Police estimate the jewellery was worth between $2,000 and $3,000.

"The suspects produced firearms," said Giroux, during a violent altercation with Mohammed and his friend who was being robbed.

Mohammed and his friend escaped to the front of the restaurant, but the suspects followed.

Giroux said "a second altercation" then broke out near a takeout counter at the front of the restaurant.

Shots were fired and Mohammed died at the scene. He was killed just days ahead of his 32nd birthday.

Two women in their 20s were hit by stray bullets and had to be taken to hospital.

"As soon as the shooting started, dozens of patrons fled the scene. Others took cover underneath the tables that they were seated at," said Giroux.

The suspects fled the scene.

Police now believe that three to five suspects were involved, at least two of whom fired shots inside the restaurant.

Giroux said police are still enhancing video images of suspects that were captured on surveillance cameras. They will be released to the public in the near future.

Click below to watch the video of Giroux updating the media on the investigation. If you're using a mobile device, use this link instead.

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