In an alleyway jutting through 260 Carlaw Avenue, almost equidistant between Dundas and Queen streets, flaming and battery-powered candles shine under bristol boards taped to the wall. They hold pictures of 29-year-old Ceyon Carrington.
Known in the Toronto rap scene as “C-Sick,” Carrington was identified by police Monday as the victim in the shooting there last Wednesday.
Scrawled on the boards are messages from loved ones.
“Love you daddy,” reads one. “You will always be my right hand I love you in ways nobody will understand,” says another.
The tributes hang just above the spot where police found Carrington slumped over and struggling to survive that night. He died later in hospital, his body riddled with bullets.
“The way this has transpired, it could lead us to believe that it was a targeted shooting,” explained Toronto Police homicide Det. Andy Singh.
Police say after his usual Wednesday duties teaching kids basketball at the Regent Park Community Centre, the up-and-coming rapper was on his way to a recording studio at the other end of the alley.
Investigators say Carrington and a friend had just stepped out of a cab and were walking toward that studio when they were ambushed from behind. Carrington’s friend got away unscathed, but Carrington was shot multiple times.
Police are searching for a suspect described as a black male with a dark complexion, five foot eight inches to six feet in height who was wearing dark clothes with his hood over his head.
They believe the gunman took off in a waiting newer-model four-door black Hyundai sedan with tinted windows, possibly a Sonata. There may have been others in the car besides the alleged getaway driver, and Singh says he would like to speak to those other occupants.
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“They might not have known what was about to transpire, or they might not have wished to be part of it,” says Singh.
“If that is the case, this is your opportunity to speak to us, or you could be held equally responsible for murder,” he warns them.
People working and living in the building can’t forget what they saw and were still talking about it Monday as news crews took photos of the alleyway memorial.
“My neighbour was walking his dog that night,” recalls Daniel Camer, who lives and works in a photography studio. “As he was walking his dog he saw the guy get shot five times.”
Police say they have managed to obtain some surveillance video from the area, but that they are always looking for more.
They’re also still working on figuring out a motive for the shooting.
“We don’t have any information to indicate that (as a motive) at this point, but we are exploring all avenues,” says Det. Singh.
Carrington was initially charged with first-degree murder, robbery and aggravated assault in the shooting death of Tariq Mohammed at the Garden Restaurant in November 2014. The charges were eventually stayed, though.