Canada shooting: officers take over homicide investigation

Police describe arrest of Ronnie Lien as ‘major development’ as the body of another man, believed to be Lien’s partner, is found in nearby area

Homicide officers have taken over the investigation into a series of shootings in Toronto that have left one man dead and two other victims wounded.

The victims, a 24-year-old man and a 21-year-old man, remained in hospital with serious injuries, police said. A third victim is in serious but stable condition.

Police arrested Ronnie Lien, 36, on Wednesday after finding him. Lien’s two-year-old son was taken into police custody. He is now in police custody.

Police were called to multiple reports of gunfire in the city’s central core. By midnight police had shut down several areas, including Yonge and Finch Avenues, on the city’s west side. Police cars and ambulances could be seen at several different locations in the area.

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An autopsy is being conducted on Lien’s two-year-old son.

Keith Bartlett said he was renting a room in a building near Yonge and Finch.

Bartlett told the Guardian that he had seen his friend’s child in custody over the last few days.

The 33-year-old said he has lived in the building for about six months and is “ecstatic” to hear that police are treating the death of Lien’s son as suspicious.

Bartlett said he had not been in contact with Lien since 2009, but suspected the pair had been living together since then because his friend didn’t have a car and relied on hitchhiking.

Police are searching a home in the 3000 block of Yonge Street. Photograph: CTV Toronto

Police set up a large perimeter around the property. Officers could be seen walking through yards and emptying garbage cans.

They are asking people to call police to give any information they may have about the murders and shooting.

In addition to the police investigation, the City of Toronto has sent investigators from its security and integrity services branch to help.

Police said it’s too early to say whether charges would be laid in the case.

“We do know that, at this time, the preliminary investigation reveals that two male victims have been shot and that no third victim has been found,” police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray said.

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