December 3, 2010

Toronto man shot dead with Crossbow

By Charles Moffat - December 2010.

CANADA - When I heard that a Toronto man had been shot dead with a crossbow inside a Toronto Public Library I immediately thought of my little sister, who is a librarian. Worse, when she was little she built a small crossbow. Thankfully it wasn't her who did it.

The man who did fled the scene after the incident, running past bustling children and parents in broad daylight yesterday. Reportedly the man he had killed had first been pepper-sprayed in the face and then shot with the crossbow at point blank range.

The shooting happened at the Main Street Public Library, near Main Street and Gerrard Street East. According to Toronto police its the first time a crossbow was used in a murder in Toronto. “It’s definitely a very unique situation,” says Constable Tony Vella, “a first.”

A 24-year-old Asian man from Ottawa named Zhou Fang is now in police custody, charged with first degree murder and the Toronto media is anxiously waiting to hear the motive for the murder in broad daylight in front of so many witnesses. The suspect was arrested in Scarborough.

The bizarre murder has heightened concerns in the city about the use and ownership of crossbows. (As an archer myself I want to stress that these items are usually only used for target practice, and sometimes used for hunting. I've never even heard of a murder using a crossbow before in Canada.)

The victim was shot in the back according to EMS and the body was kept in place overnight. The library is now closed indefinitely while police and CSI agents search for addition clues. They may have difficulty extracting the crossbow bolt from the victim's body.

The crossbow is described as a small hand crossbow, a type which is illegal in some provinces in Canada, but not illegal in Ontario.

The murderer then fled in a U-Haul truck just after 4 PM and "calmly drove away" according to witnesses. Police quickly acted upon information they received about the shooter and he was in custody within the hour.

Dead is Si Cheng, 52 years old, a resident of Toronto. Cheng and Fang knew each other, but police are currently not releasing details.

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