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Updated: Fri, 22 Mar 2013 19:47:12 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Man shot in Cabbagetown brother of Eaton Centre shooting victim



Man shot in Cabbagetown brother of Eaton Centre shooting victim

Police have identified the man that died following an overnight shooting in downtown Toronto as the brother of the victim in last summer's Eaton Centre shooting.

Police say they received a call reporting gunfire just after 11:30 p.m. Thursday at a seniors apartment at 55 Bleecker St., in the area of Carlton and Jarvis streets.

When police arrived, they found Nisan Nirmalendran, 21, suffering from gunshot wounds.

He was taken to St. Michael's hospital and pronounced dead. Police have not yet made any arrests.

Police confirmed that Nirmalendran was the brother of Nixon Nirmalendran, the 22-year-old who died on June 11, 2012 after being shot in the food court of Toronto’s Eaton Centre on June 2, 2012.

Det. Sgt. Terry Brown spoke at a news conference Friday, saying that there was “nothing to suggest that the two instances are related at all.”

Security footage shows shooter

Brown also described the security footage police obtained from the building, showing both the shooter and a female resident used "as a shield" during the shooting.

“At 11:15 p.m., a resident from this building is entering the premises and as she is entering the premises the sound of gunfire erupts," Brown said. "And as you can see in this image a window is blown out from the inside of the lobby.”

“What happened shortly thereafter is the resident is trapped in the vestibule area and the shooter and this victim, for lack of a better word, are confined in this area. The resident is used sort of as a shield as this shooting is going on.”

Police have described the shooter as a black male wearing a charcoal jacket with a hood, dark clothing and what appears to be a white shirt.

There is another person of interest that police believe to be a friend of the victim's, as video footage showed them entering the building with Nirmalendran earlier that evening.

Witnesses have described two vehicles that were seen leaving the scene. One is a Dodge or Town and Country silver 2004 or 2008 minivan.

The other is possibly a 2007 to 2011 dark navy or black Acura TL with shiny rims and tinted windows. Police are appealing to the public for their help with any further information.

Police hope more witnesses come forward

Toronto police Insp. Tim Crone said investigators are hoping more witnesses will come forward with information about the shooting.

"We have a few people that were actually witnesses to the shooting," Crone told CBC News. "We have a number of people in the surrounding apartment buildings ... that we are hoping saw the shooting or saw some piece of what transpired."

On Friday morning, police investigators were working outside gathering evidence.

The shooting left a large bullet hole in one of the building's front door windows.

Bleecker Street will likely be closed for much of the day, as police continue their investigation.

The shooting was a rude awakening for Al Smith, 81, who has been living in the building for 17 years.

"I was sound asleep with my wife … and I heard a 'bang, bang, bang!' Three loud bangs," he told CBC News.

It has also left others in the neighbourhood unsettled. Last year, in the alley of the same building, there was a stabbing.

"It's getting frustrating actually to have to keep waking up to it, it seems like there's something every other week," one resident told CBC News.

With files from CBC's Linda Ward

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