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Police officers investigate the scene of a fatal crossbow shooting at the Main Street Library in Toronto. John Hanley for The Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail Update
Published Thursday, Dec. 02, 2010 5:06PM EST

The circumstances of Toronto's 59th homicide of the year didn't fit the profile of a typical slaying. Not the apparent age of the victim (middle-aged), nor the location (inside a busy public library), or the time of day (late afternoon).

But the strangest detail of all was the weapon used: a crossbow.

The unusual killing unfolded shortly after 4 p.m. at a library on Main Street, near Gerrard Street East. A man walked into the branch, sprayed a substance - possibly pepper spray - and shot the sitting victim in front of several witnesses.

The suspect calmly walked out the front door with one elderly man in hot pursuit, witnesses said, got into a van parked in a nearby laneway and drove off. They said the elderly man took down the van's licence plate.

"If he was stronger, he would have gotten that guy," said Linus Smith, who was sitting in a Jamaican restaurant across the street.

Shaken library patrons poured out of the building, some with reddened eyes, some mothers with children in tow, as police and paramedics arrived at the scene.

The victim, who EMS officials said was in his 40s, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Within minutes, police tracked down a suspect to a residential street in Scarborough. The man, believed to be in his 30s, was taken to 55 Division. As of mid-evening, he had not been charged.

Meanwhile, officers whisked witnesses away to several police stations for questioning and began searching nearby businesses for security camera footage.

Both police officers and neighbours, who gathered across the street as evening fell, expressed surprise at the unusual, brazen killing.

"Kids are always in that library - that's not nice at all," said Eileen Cooper. "I'm surprised. I feel scared."

The library released a statement announcing the branch would be closed until further notice and offering its condolences to the victim's family.

Toronto police said Thursday evening they had not identified the man killed, nor a motive in his slaying, nor whether the attack was a targeted hit or the result of a fight. They would not say if the weapon had been recovered. Homicide detectives were questioning witnesses before heading to the scene of crime, where the body remained, face-down.

Both officers and EMS personnel said they had never seen someone killed with such a weapon before.

"We've heard of guns, knives," said police spokesman Tony Vella, "but a crossbow is unique."

409 Posts
WV: Hunter shoots. kills teen with bow and arrow
October 17, 2010

Man Killed After Being Shot with Hunting Bow

An argument between two young men ends tragically in Monongalia County, Sunday afternoon. State Police say it happened around 12:30 p.m. near a home on Murray Road. The victim, 19-year old Marcus Anthony Toothman, was pronounced dead on scene after being shot with a hunting bow in his upper left leg and lower stomach.

The suspect, 19-year-old Andrew Michael McIntyre, allegedly released and shot the bow when Toothman was walking towards him during their argument.

McIntyre was on scene when State Police arrived, and he's now charged with first degree murder. He's being held in the North Central Regional Jail without bond.
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