A Toronto man, who was acquitted of murder in May for the killing of a Trinidadian, has been shot and wounded in Canada. He is recovering in hospital from a gunshot wound and faces attempted murder and firearms charges following a shooting inside a west-end apartment.
Havard McKenzie walked out of Superior Court a free man in May after a jury found him not guilty of the second-degree murder of Trinidadian Tariq Mohammed, 31, in a crowded downtown Chinese restaurant.
The unarmed Mohammed, who was out celebrating a birthday with friends, was shot several times by two gunmen. Moments earlier, the gunmen robbed Mohammed’s friend of his necklace at the back of the now closed Garden Restaurant on Dundas Street West.
On Tuesday morning, McKenzie, 27, was in a woman’s apartment in a building on Tandridge Cres. in Etobicoke when her ex-boyfriend — the father of her son — pounded on the door, said a police officer familiar with the incident who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about it.
At some point, shots were fired and one man sustained three bullet wounds, the source said. He was found outside the building and was taken to hospital.
First-responders found McKenzie in the apartment with a single gunshot wound, the officer said. The bullet entered his chest and exited his back without striking any vital organs. He is recovering in hospital and was remanded in custody until a bail hearing next week. A woman also cut her hand in the incident, a police spokesperson said.
The police source said two guns were seized, one outside the building, the other stashed in a kitchen cupboard.
McKenzie and Devon Johnson-Garcia, 25, are both charged with attempted murder and various firearms offences, police said.
“I know very little about this case from the police or prosecuting authorities. However, I’m confident that as the evidence emerges it will show that my client is guilty of nothing,” said Gary Grill, McKenzie’s defence lawyer who also represented him at the murder trial.
McKenzie’s acquittal by a jury proves that “just because somebody is charged doesn’t mean that they’re going to be convicted, or they’re even guilty,” Grill said.
During the trial, McKenzie admitted leaving a fingerprint on the door of the Garden Restaurant, but said it wasn’t on the night of the Nov. 16, 2014 murder.
The Crown alleged the fingerprint evidence and surveillance footage showed that McKenzie fatally shot Mohammed as he lay in a fetal position.
HARVARD MC KENZIE