String of Surrey shootings connected to turf war between Somali and South Asian gangs

Young refugees have little support for trauma, says head of Umoja Operation Compassion Society of BC

By The Early Edition, CBC News Posted: Apr 30, 2015 12:55 PM PT Last Updated: Apr 30, 2015 12:55 PM PT

The Umoja Operation Compassion Society of BC helps young African refugees to adjust to life in Canada - and its executive director says more needs to be done to prevent young people getting involved with gangs.The Umoja Operation Compassion Society of BC helps young African refugees to adjust to life in Canada – and its executive director says more needs to be done to prevent young people getting involved with gangs. (umojaoperation.ca/)

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Keeping Somali youth out of gangs 6:49

The head of a Surrey, B.C.-based organization that works with Somali immigrants and refugees wants better gang prevention programs for youth, as the community grapples with 23 shootings in two months.

RCMP have said the shootings are connected to a turf war between rival Somali and South Asian gangs.

“It’s a big problem generally in the youth. If there are no youth programs the Somalis won’t be there,” Amos Kambere, Executive Director of theUmoja Operation Compassion Society of BC, told The Early Edition’sRick Cluff.

Huge culture shock

Kambere said many of the Somalis who come to Canada have suffered violence in refugee camps and experience a huge culture shock when they arrive.

“These people are coming with issues of trauma, issues of mental health and when they come here they are overwhelmed.”

Marc Wabafiyebazu, 15, charged with first-degree murder in drug-related shootout

Marc Wabafiyebazu, 15, indicted on first-degree murder charge

The Canadian Press Posted: Apr 15, 2015 2:02 PM ET Last Updated: Apr 15, 2015 5:08 PM ET

Marc Wabafiyebazu, the son of a Canadian diplomat , was charged with first-degree murder in what police say was a drug-related shootout.Marc Wabafiyebazu, the son of a Canadian diplomat , was charged with first-degree murder in what police say was a drug-related shootout. (Handout/Canadian Press)

 A Canadian diplomat’s teenage son accused of involvement in a drug-related shootout that killed his older brother in Florida has been charged with murder and will be tried as an adult.

A Miami-Dade County grand jury indicted 15-year-old Marc Wabafiyebazu on first-degree felony murder charges Wednesday.

TORONTO: Fatally shot Trevor Seraphine was from St. Lucia

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Police officers walk away from the apartment building where Trevor Seraphine, 16, was shot dead early Saturday morning.

MARTA IWANEK / TORONTO STAR Order this photo

Police officers walk away from the apartment building where Trevor Seraphine, 16, was shot dead early Saturday morning.

By:  Staff Reporter,  Staff Reporter, Published on Sat Mar 21 2015

A 16-year-old boy shot dead in front of an Etobicoke apartment building early Saturday morning is, according to a cousin, one of six siblings from St. Lucia whose parents are still in their island homeland.

Saturday morning, the glass entrance to 44 Willowridge Dr., the public housing building where Trevor Seraphine was fatally shot, was left riddled with four bullet holes.

Residents of the building recalled being awakened by the sound of gunshots, followed later by police sirens.

Police said the high school student was found shortly after 2 a.m. with life-threatening gunshot wounds, taken to hospital and later pronounced dead there.

Police said Trevor Seraphine, 16,  was found shortly after 2 a.m. at an apartment near Willowridge Rd. with apparent gunshot wounds.

 Police said Trevor Seraphine, 16, was found shortly after 2 a.m. at an apartment near Willowridge Rd. with apparent gunshot wounds.

Seraphine’s cousin Xabie Adjodha, 30, told the Star the boy was visiting an old girlfriend who lived in the building. He was supposed to sleep over at a nearby friend’s that night, but was unexpectedly kicked out.

Adjodha said she lived with Seraphine and his siblings across the street from the building he was shot outside for years, but they moved away recently because the area was getting “too dangerous.”

Their move came nearly eight years after Adjodha brought the siblings to Canada for a better life and to help raise Seraphine as one of her own.

“I was the one helping feed him and bringing him to school. I love this kid,” she said, before breaking down in tears. “I took them from their house and one of them died.”

As soon as she heard of his death, she said, she called Seraphine’s parents in St. Lucia. The news shook Seraphine’s mother, who “ran out of the house screaming and no one knew where she went.”

Adjodha said she is helping to arrange visas for the family to come to Canada to honour Seraphine at a funeral, for which she has started a crowdfunding campaign on gofundme.com.

She said she can’t believe someone would try to hurt her cousin, a boy she described as “always smiling.”

“He would give you that shy smirk,” she recalled, noting that he often made videos of himself rapping, but was too shy to show them off in person. “Everyone knew Trevor could make you happy or make you laugh.”

Most of his days were spent at North Albion Collegiate Institute, where Adjodha said he was a “quiet” student, who had big dreams of becoming an engineer.

Race card dismissed by Ontario court

Ontario court dismisses claim that gun conviction resulted from racial profiling

By: Diana Mehta, The Canadian Press

Posted: 11:55 AM | Comments: 1 | Last Modified: 2:25 PM

Richard Steele is seen in Toronto on Thursday Nov. 27, 2014. Steele argued unsuccessfully before Ontario’s top court that his gun-offence conviction was the result of racial profiling. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel

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Richard Steele is seen in Toronto on Thursday Nov. 27, 2014. Steele argued unsuccessfully before Ontario’s top court that his gun-offence conviction was the result of racial profiling. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel

TORONTO – Ontario’s highest court dismissed an appeal Monday from a man who argued his gun offence convictions were the result of racial profiling.

Richard Steele had argued he was a victim of “driving while black.”

He was convicted in October 2010 of concealing a loaded handgun under the front passenger seat of his mother’s car after being pulled over in Hamilton.

His lawyers argued at the Ontario Court of Appeal that the judge at Steele’s trial erred in failing to properly consider evidence of racial profiling.

The appeal court dismissed Steele’s appeal, finding his charter rights were not infringed.

“There is no basis to interfere with the trial judge’s factual conclusion that the stop and search were not racially motivated,” the panel of three judges found. “The convictions were supported by the evidence and were not unreasonable.”

Steele’s lawyer expressed disappointment at the ruling.

TORONTO: MACHETE-WIELDING DARK-BROWN SKINNED SUSPECT SOUGHT IN ROBBERY

Toronto police are searching for a “violent” and “dangerous” suspect who allegedly wielded a machete during a robbery in Scarborough on Wednesday.

In the Eglinton Ave. E. and Brimley Rd. area at about 12:20 p.m., police say a man approached another man who had just left a bank in the area, and demanded cash. The suspect was allegedly armed with a knife, and after a struggle, the man with the knife then pulled out a machete and assaulted the victim with it, according to police.

The victim’s injuries were not life-threatening, but he was taken to hospital.

Police consider the suspect violent, armed and dangerous, and advise the public not to approach him.

The suspect is described as having a dark brown complexion, between 25 and 30 years old, five-feet-five and about 130 pounds. He was reportedly unshaven and wearing a black jacket with a fur-lined hood and red lining, a red toque, blacks jeans with silver studs and a black backpack.

SCARBOROUGHT, ON: Richard Russell wanted in alleged assault of woman and baby

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Richard Russell, 23, is wanted in an assault on a woman and her baby in a home near Neilson Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E. on Monday.

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Richard Russell, 23, is wanted in an assault on a woman and her baby in a home near Neilson Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E. on Monday.

By: Jackie Hong Staff Reporter, Published on Mon Dec 22 2014

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On Dec. 15 around 11:30 p.m., police allege the man entered the bedroom of a home near Neilson Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E. where the woman and her son were sleeping. The woman argued with the man while holding her son and begged the man to leave. The man allegedly became angry, grabbed the woman by her throat and began punching her. He also allegedly punched the baby in the head, causing swelling and bruising. The assault was interrupted by another person and the man threatened to kill the woman as he left.

Police are looking for Richard Russell, who is described as black and 6-feet-1, with a slim build. Police believe Russell is staying in Malvern and consider him dangerous.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-4200 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).