A 19-year-old woman was killed in a shooting outside a nightclub in Mississauga, Ontario, early Sunday morning. Police are investigating the incident as a homicide and are looking for suspects.
Victim identified as Shaniah Morrison
The victim has been identified as Shaniah Morrison, a resident of Brampton, Ontario. She was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering multiple gunshot wounds. Police said she was with a group of friends at the Fume Bar and Lounge, located in a plaza near Dixie Road and Eglinton Avenue, when the shooting occurred around 1:30 a.m.
Morrison’s family and friends are devastated by her death and are seeking justice. Her cousin, Tashana Campbell, told CBC News that Morrison was a “beautiful soul” who loved music and dancing. She said Morrison had recently graduated from high school and was planning to pursue a career in nursing.
“She was just starting her life. She had so much potential, so much dreams, so much goals,” Campbell said. “She didn’t deserve this at all.”
Police searching for suspects and witnesses
Police said they believe the shooting was targeted, but they have not released any information about the motive or the suspects. They are asking anyone who was at the nightclub or in the area at the time of the shooting to come forward and speak to investigators.
Police are also reviewing surveillance footage and seeking dashcam or cellphone video from the public. They said the suspects may have fled the scene in a vehicle.
Const. Heather Cannon, a spokesperson for Peel Regional Police, said the shooting was a “brazen act of violence” that put many lives at risk. She said the nightclub was operating legally under the current COVID-19 restrictions and had security staff on site.
“This is a very active and ongoing investigation,” Cannon said. “We are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with information to please contact us.”
Shooting sparks concern over gun violence
The shooting is the latest in a series of gun-related incidents in the Greater Toronto Area that have raised concern over the prevalence and accessibility of firearms. According to Statistics Canada, the number of firearm-related homicides in Canada increased by 7% in 2020, reaching the highest level since 1991.
Many community leaders and advocates are calling for more action from the government and the police to address the root causes of gun violence and to prevent further tragedies. They said the issue is not only a matter of public safety, but also of social justice and equity.
Nigel Barriffe, the president of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, said the shooting in Mississauga is a reminder of the need for more investment in community programs and services that support youth and families, especially in marginalized and racialized communities.
“We need to look at the systemic issues that are creating the conditions for violence to happen,” Barriffe said. “We need to look at the lack of opportunities, the lack of education, the lack of mental health support, the lack of housing, the lack of income security. These are all factors that contribute to violence.”
Barriffe also said the government should implement stricter gun control measures, such as banning handguns and assault-style weapons, and cracking down on illegal gun trafficking and smuggling.
“We need to make sure that guns are not easily accessible to anyone who wants to use them for harm,” he said. “We need to make sure that we have a comprehensive approach to dealing with gun violence that involves all levels of government, the police, and the community.”