Somali-Canadian lost his life through gang related violence
Ottawa ( Ottawa Citizen + DIPLOMAT.SO) – On the heels of a record year for shootings in the city, the police battle to curb gang-related gun violence in Ottawa came to a head Friday when a 26-year-old member of the Ledbury-Banff Crips was shot dead while lying on a couch inside a southside home.
Yusuf Ibrahim, who goes by the street name “Grinch,” was shot in the back and legs inside the living room of a Forestglade Crescent townhome Friday morning in what police say is a targeted killing. Frightened neighbours called police when they heard the gunshots around 9:30 a.m. Paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive him.
While police have increasingly said their enforcement and suppression efforts are meant to prevent an innocent bystander from being hit by a stray bullet, the possibility that someone known to police could be gravely injured had also been building.
The first shooting of the year on Jan. 10, after 49 shootings in 2014, left a man in critical condition after he was shot twice in the back. The man recovered in hospital. Police Chief Charles Bordeleau visited Friday’s homicide scene himself, a rare move signalling the force’s senior officers continue to be concerned about gang violence.
In a statement released to media, Bordeleau said retaliation for the gangland killing isn’t an “immediate concern” for the force but “it is always troubling when something like this happens in our community.”
Bordeleau confirmed that he had been on scene speaking to neighbours to assure them that police are investigating the homicide and other incidents of gang-related violence as a “top priority.”
The victim, Ibrahim, has a criminal record, most notably for riding in a car that was involved in a notorious drive-by shooting at a southside Tim Hortons in January 2008. Ibrahim was riding in the back seat of the car when another man fired at men in the parking lot of the Tim Hortons on Walkley Road. A .44-calibre Smith & Wesson revolver was later recovered by police from the car. Ibrahim admitted that he knew a gun was in the car but only in the minutes right before the shooting was carried out. For his role in that shooting, he was sentenced to a year in prison.
His co-accused in that shooting read like a who’s who of notable Crips members in Ottawa, and they have resurfaced on police radar in 2014. The trigger man in the Tim Hortons drive-by shooting was Ahmed Zalal, brother of Mohamed Zalal, a leader of the Ledbury-Banff Crips who was shot in the back of the head while he was driven down the Queensway in 2006. His body was later dumped in a field in Vars.
Abdulaziz Abdullah and Hussein Mohammad, both arrested last summer as part of the guns and gangs unit’s Project Karma were in that same vehicle in the 2008 shooting after which both pleaded guilty to occupying a motor vehicle knowing that a gun was inside. Abdullah also faced weapons-related offences in Calgary after a shooting in that city. Those charges were stayed.
Abdullah was also charged after police found a loaded handgun in a hotel room in 2009.
Hussein Mohammad also surrendered to police in 2012. He was wanted in a shooting on Fisher Avenue.
Project Karma was intended to disrupt the day-to-day activities of the Crips street gang, which mostly operates out of the city’s south and east. While there were short-term successes, police continue to grapple with targeted, gang-related shootings.
Mohamed Najdi, also in the car in 2008, was arrested in May driving around the ByWard Market with what police alleged was a loaded firearm.
Homicide victim Ibrahim was also sentenced to serve, alongside his 12-month sentence for the 2008 shooting, 6 1/2 years for armed robbery, use of an imitation firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a vehicle, drug trafficking and assault with a weapon. Those charges came after he robbed a CIBC in March 2007.
Ibrahim was wanted on Canada-wide warrant in May 2013 after police alleged he breached his parole conditions.
Ibrahim is the first homicide victim of 2015, a year in which, so far, there have been five reported shootings across the city in five weeks.
Homicide detectives continue to investigate the killing, with guns and gangs investigators assisting.
There are no suspects in custody.For more news and stories, join us on Facebook,Twitter , or contact us through our Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com