UPDATE: Senior used as human shield in deadly shooting
An elderly woman was used as a human shield during a deadly shooting in Cabbagetown.
Thursday night, the woman was in the vestibule of her building on Bleecker Stt near Carlton & Sherbourne, waiting for her son to park the car & help her up to her unit in the seniors complex.
Toronto Police Detective Sergeant Terry Browne says that's when shots were fired just outside the building. The violence moved inside as the shooter & the victim ran into the vestibule where the woman was standing.
Browne says surveillance footage seems to show the victim grabbed the woman as shots were being fired at him & tried to use her as a human shield.
Eventually the 2 men ran back outside.
Browne says the senior is "very, very lucky" not to have been physically hurt, though he says she has emotional scars.
21-year-old Nisan Nirmalendran was hit but multiple bullets & died in hospital. He's the the brother of Nixon Nirmalendran, killed in last year's Eaton Centre shooting.
Browne can't say there is an absolute connection between the shootings, but says it's something he will look at.
Detectives can't figure out what Nisan Nirmalendran was doing at the seniors complex. Security cameras show him going into the building with a friend & then coming out hours later, just before the shooting started.
Browne says at this point, he doesn't believe there's anyone in the building Nirmalendran was visiting.
Police are trying to track down the friend seen with Nirmalendran before his death. He was wearing a grey Milton jacket with a piece of white & black checkered clothing.
Police are looking for at least 1 shooter. Security footage shows a black man, dressed in a dark charcoal-coloured jacket with a hood, dark clothing & a white shirt underneath.
Witnesses saw as many as 4 people take off from a parking lot across the street from the building just after the shooting. Police are looking for a silver Dodge or Town & Country minivan, maybe from the model years 2004-8. They're also trying to track down a dark-coloured Acura T-L, model year 2007-11.
Anyone with information is asked to call 416-808-7400 or to contact Crime Stoppers.