Kingston-Galloway shootings: youths vying for dominance in re-emerging gang
Published on Friday September 21, 2012
Ad-Ham Khamis, 19, is facing four counts of attempted murder and a slew of weapon related charges.
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Betsy Powell and Jim Rankin
On that October afternoon it was warm enough for a 12-year-old boy to wear short sleeves to class. Better yet, the final bell had sounded at St. Margaret’s Public School in Scarborough, and there were laughs to be had, and foosball, at a nearby drop-in program to keep kids from the streets and gangs.
Cooler still, newspaper people were coming to do a feature story on the new after-school program in the Kingston-Galloway area, funded by the United Way.
The photos taken by a Toronto Star photographer that day in 2005 capture the boys at their goofy best.
A picture from that shoot of 12-year-old Ad-Ham Khamis ended up on the cover of the United Way’s annual report that year.
On Thursday, Toronto police released Khamis’s mug shot after arresting the now 19-year-old as he walked along a Scarborough street. They charged him with 11 offences, including four attempted murders using a firearm, and gun trafficking.
On Friday, Khamis made a brief appearance in Scarborough court looking dazed and wearing an oversized bomber-style jacket and baggy pants. He was remanded in custody until Thursday.
A few days ago, police said Khamis is one of two suspects in the unsolved, Dec. 30 daylight killing of D’Mitre Barnaby, shot multiple times in a parking lot behind a Lawrence Ave. E. apartment building. Police say Barnaby died because he looked like someone who was targeted by the notorious Galloway Boys.
Khamis’s arrest comes at a time when the gang, considered one of the most violent in the city, appears to be revitalized after a period of dormancy due to the imprisonment of its former leaders. It is implicated in a series of retaliatory shootings in the east end in the past 12 months, including the July Danzig St. carnage.
Homicide Det. Sgt. Brett Nichol, the lead investigator in the Barnaby case, says police think Khamis engaged in violence to increase his standing and become gang leader. “That’s a theory not based on fact, but a belief based on several difference aspects of the investigation.”
Police are working on the theory that Khamis’s gang involvement is the reason he was chased, shot and wounded near the Lawrence East LRT station on Aug. 10. His injuries were minor and he left hospital after just a day.
Khamis has not been charged in connection with the Danzig St. shootout, which ended the lives of Shyanne Charles, 14, and Joshua Yasay, 23, and left 23 others wounded.
Were it not for his arrest in Toronto, Khamis was supposed to appear in a London courtroom on Friday to face three charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Khamis and a co-accused, Livingston Davis, were arrested on Aug. 3 when the London Police Service’s emergency task force raided an apartment near city hall, Det. Const. Chris Churney, the investigating officer, told the Star.
Police seized crack cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as a bulletproof vest and $1,065 in cash. No weapons were found.
Khamis’ Toronto lawyer, Royland Moriah, said Friday he’s aware police consider his client a suspect in a murder.
But, adds Moriah, “all we have are the allegations, whether in relation to these or other charges.”
At twin press conferences earlier this month, Toronto police connected the dots publicly for the first time. A series of retaliatory shootings in the east end over the past 12 months had all the hallmarks of gang violence and an internal power struggle, investigators said.
They believe Khamis is vying for the leadership with at least three others they identified as Galloway Boys or associates: Ramon Williams, 20, Nahom Tsegazab, 19, and a 16-year-old who cannot be identified.
Police allege these young men, hungry for respect and power, have demonstrated a willingness to deliver street justice for wrongs committed by rivals.
Street gangs flourish and grow stronger amid conflict and by having a “common enemy,” usually another neighbourhood.
A decade ago, then-21-year-old Tyshan Riley used violence to intimidate and elevate his street position to gang leader in Galloway. He called it “riding for justice,” which meant shooting people in the Malvern area, where he believed his mentor’s killers came from.
He is now serving a life sentence for murder and three attempted murders in a federal penitentiary, leaving the door open for a successor.
What set the stage for the renewed conflict appears to have been a “chain grab,” the Star has learned. During the summer of 2011, a male resident of Orton Park, an area close to Kingston/Galloway, ripped off a chain from around the neck of a gang-connected man in Galloway.
In September last year, someone opened fire on three males — thought to be Orton Park residents — standing by a plaza on Lawrence Ave. E. at Susan St. Police allege Khamis pulled the trigger in Galloway’s first attempt to settle the score.
In Khamis’s fourth attempted murder charge, police allege that a couple of months later, during a drug deal on Northfield Dr., near Lawrence and Orton Park Rd., either Ramon Williams or Khamis pulled out a Ruger P85 handgun and fired several shots into the victim’s neck and torso while he sat in his vehicle.
Court documents identify the victim as Daniel Fuller.
Article posted in Attempted murder/Murder, Crime, Crime (type), Non-European crime