The man who fatally shot two Toronto police officers this summer was scheduled to appear before a judge on Saturday morning. Alpesh Alatas, 25, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Const. Dave Ross and Const. Glenn Weddell, who were fatally shot while sitting in their patrol car in downtown Toronto.
According to The Toronto Star, Alatas is also charged with aggravated assault, and with attempted murder, among other charges.
Police arrested Alatas on Saturday morning, a day after they raided a building on the city’s Danforth Avenue, where Ross and Weddell were fatally shot. According to multiple reports, police had identified Alatas as the gunman based on extensive surveillance footage.
Brock Joseph, a spokesman for the Toronto Police Service, told the Globe and Mail that Alatas “are all of the officers’ family members, not only officers but friends, friends of friends and people that you know. So, it’s very personal.” Ross, 46, and Weddell, 50, were both fathers.
Ross’ father, Dennis, called his son and Weddell “world-class” officers who were beloved by their colleagues.
“This was someone that was out to kill two people. And what could I do?” Dennis Ross told The Toronto Star. “I could sit down with him for two hours and solve the problems. But unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time. That’s the way the clock works.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory spoke to the media on Saturday, and called for a renewed effort to bring violent crime to an end.
“This is a very sad day for our city and our police service,” Tory said. “We continue to believe that the relationship between the members of our police service and the people of this city is strong and it has always been strong, and will be strong and that is the strength that will allow us to move forward.
“We are starting to see, and I would say the other Canadian city that is facing this tough challenge would agree with me, that we are starting to see diminishing numbers of violent crime in our city, and that is good news and we should be very proud of it.
“There is no question, as we celebrate life around Christmas time, that this kind of violence will affect police services and they will feel it too. I will always say that everybody, especially police officers, perform their job so bravely and with integrity because of the fact that they take the fear out of this job for the public. And that is absolutely fundamental to our job.
“We are feeling that pain.”
Read the full story at The Toronto Star.
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