Pubdate: Fri, 08 Sep 2017
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 The Hamilton Spectator
Author: Nicole O'Reilly
Page: A3


29 incidents involving gunfire in Hamilton this year already surpasses
total for 2016

There have been 29 shootings in Hamilton so far this year, surpassing
last year's high of 22 and signalling a troubling trend of targeted,
drug-related violence for police.

"We recognize the increase in the number of incidents and are actively
investigating them," said Hamilton police spokesperson Const. Jerome

"We believe the shootings have been targeted and we are concerned
because one shooting is too many."

The shootings - including five in the last week - are believed to be
largely tied to the illegal drug trade, he said. There is no evidence
these recent shootings are connected.

Hamilton police have previously said this same illegal drug trade is
behind a similar increase in home invasions since last year. Many of
the home invasions involve weapons, with some also involving shootings.

With 29 shootings and still four months left in 2017, the city has
already outpaced the rate of shootings in the last several years.

There were 22 shootings in 2016, but that itself was considered a jump
from previous years. According to police statistics, there were 14
shootings in 2015, seven in 2014, 12 respectively in 2013 and 2012.

Some of the shootings appear to have happened in clusters, with 10
occurring over a month between April and May, and the five over this
last week.

Only one shooting this year has been deadly - the gangland-style
execution of Angelo Musitano in the driveway of his Waterdown home May
2. Nearly two months later his brother, Pasquale (Pat) Musitano, the
reputed head of the Musitano crime family, had his home sprayed with

Stewart said Hamilton police "recognize the impact that a shooting has
on our community."

"We believe there are people out there who have information about what
has happened over the last few days and we encourage anyone with
information about these crimes to contact (Hamilton police)," he said.
Recent shootings include: Around midnight Friday, Sept. 1, two people
were sent to hospital after a shooting near Quigley Road and Albright
Avenue. Police said the gunfire erupted after a disagreement escalated.

Later that same morning, police were called after gunshots were fired
at an unoccupied vehicle parked at a townhouse complex on Upper
Wellington Street, just south of the Lincoln Alexander Parkway.

On Sunday, Sept. 3, two teens suffered serious injuries after being
found shot in two separate locations in the area of Upper Ottawa
Street and Limeridge Road East.

On Monday, Sept. 4, police were called to reports of gunfire near 66
Greendale Dr., where officers found an "unco-operative male with minor
injuries" and a damaged parked car.

On Tuesday, Sept. 5, police were called to the Staybridge Suites hotel
on Caroline Street South for a nearby shooting. Two men were seen
fleeing in what appeared to be a red Toyota Yaris with a flat tire and
bullet holes.

No charges have been laid in any of these most recent cases.
Investigations are ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call
Hamilton police at 905-546-4771. To remain anonymous, call Crime
Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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