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Police allege suspect connected to Toronto mother's killing has fled Canada

Toronto police are set to provide an update this morning on a fatal shooting in the city last summer that killed a 44-year-old mother of two. A Toronto Police Service logo patch is shown in Toronto, on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

TORONTO — A man accused in the killing of a Toronto woman who was hit by a stray bullet during a daytime walk is believed to have fled the country, police said Wednesday, in an update seven months after the shooting that triggered an outpouring of grief and anger. 

Karolina Huebner-Makurat had been walking through her southeast Toronto neighbourhood of Leslieville shortly after noon on July 7, 2023, when she was shot by a bullet from a nearby fight that broke out between three alleged drug dealers. 

That altercation took place near a supervised consumption site and area residents said they had been raising concerns about safety in the neighbourhood for months. 

On Wednesday, police said they would not be commenting further on the concerns around the site and were focusing on their homicide investigation. 

Police said they had identified 19-year-old Ahmed Ali as the last of three suspects allegedly involved in the shooting and said he was facing charges of manslaughter and robbery with a firearm.

Ali is believed to have fled to Somalia shortly after the shooting, said Det. Sgt. Henri Marsman.

"At the time, he wasn't a suspect. He wasn't on our radar. Since we've identified him, and we've done background checks, we realized he had left shortly after the murder," Marsman said at a news conference. 

Police had previously arrested and charged 32-year-old Damian Hudson with second-degree murder and 20-year-old Ahmed Mustafa Ibrahim with manslaughter and robbery.

Ibrahim and Ali allegedly worked together and attacked Hudson, and then Ali and Hudson exchanged gunfire, Marsman said. 

Police have also charged a 23-year-old woman who worked at the nearby supervised consumption site with being an accessory after the fact and obstructing justice. 

None of the charges have been proven in court. 

Marsman said Toronto police have issued a Canada-wide warrant for Ali's arrest and are working with partners at Interpol, the international police organization. 

"I don't believe we have an extradition treaty with Somalia. So, I'm hoping that either he sees this and makes arrangements to surrender, or his family talks him into surrendering," Marsman said. 

"If he possibly travels to a country that does have an extradition treaty, then we'll cross that bridge (when) we get to it."

Following the shooting, Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones launched a "critical incident review" of the province's 17 consumption and treatment services sites.

As well, the Ministry of Health appointed a supervisor for the site in Leslieville, giving them full decision-making authority on any improvements to the operations and safety at the site that may come out of a separate, third-party review of that location, which is being completed by Unity Health Toronto.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 7, 2024.

Jordan Omstead, The Canadian Press

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