News Provincial

Final chapter in Danzig shooting

By Sam Pazzano, Toronto Sun

A Scarborough gang member who sparked the worst mass shooting in Toronto’s history recently received his final sentence for wounding 20 innocent bystanders.

“The offences here were horrendous...and also, in one sense, almost predictable,” Justice Ian Nordheimer said last Monday, as he sentenced Folorunso Owusu on 20 counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm for the July 16, 2012, shootout at the Danzig barbecue.

Owusu, now 22, is already serving a life sentence after being convicted of two counts of second-degree murder in the slayings of honours student Joshua Yasay, 23, and Shyanne Charles, 14.

As a youth serving an adult sentence, Owusu can apply for parole as early as November 2019.

Nordheimer gave Owusu four years — to be served concurrently — for the criminal negligence convictions.

The judge said Owusu knew he, as a Chester “Le Side” gang member, would be perceived as an enemy at the Danzig event held by rival Galloway Boyz gang. Yet Owusu still brought a fully-loaded firearm.

“He knew if he used that handgun, others around him would respond in kind,” said Nordheimer. “It is remarkable that more people were not killed.”

“Of those wounded, many suffered life-altering injuries, including one young girl whose promising basketball career was ended,” he added.

“Ordinary people do not understand how anyone, much less teenagers, can come, not only to possess such weapons, but to use them in such a brutal and indifferent way,” said Nordheimer.

“The carnage was caused almost entirely by young persons — teenagers — armed with guns...in this case, a 9mm handgun, a .40 calibre handgun and a 9mm submachine gun,” said the judge.

Owusu was only 17 when he instigated the “carnage” by shooting alleged rival gang member Nahom “Gifted” Tsegazab, which triggered the barrage of bullets to be unloaded on the crowd of 200 party-goers.

Tsegazab returned fire, striking Owusu. Tsegazab’s unidentified associate fired 14 rounds from his Uzi-style submachine gun.

Bullets from Gifted’s gun and the Uzi killed Yasay and Charles, said Nordheimer.

Despite not firing the fatal shots, Owusu is equally responsible because he “engaged in a dangerous act, that is, he instigated the gunfire that led to those deaths,” Nordheimer said.

He pointed out the “unprecedented” violence also injured more than 20 people, including a 22-month-old baby.

“The Danzig incident eclipsed the shooting at the Eaton Centre, that, remarkably occurred just six weeks before the Danzig shooting,” said Nordheimer.

spazzano@postmedia.com