Jane Creba

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Jane Creba (May 13, 1990 – December 26, 2005) was a 15-year-old from Toronto, Canada, who was mortally shot on one of Toronto's busiest streets while shopping on Boxing Day, 2005. The story generated national news in Canada and impacted upon the then-underway 2006 federal election campaign on the issues of gun crime and street violence.

A Riverdale Collegiate Institute Grade 10 student, Creba was killed while shopping with her sister on Toronto’s Yonge Street, just a few blocks north of the Toronto Eaton Centre. Six other bystanders—four men and two women—were wounded. Creba’s death was the result of a shootout between two Black youth gangs.

Police arrested two men on several gun charges at Castle Frank subway station minutes after the shooting: Andre Thompson,(Black) 20, who was on probation at the time; and a 17-year-old male who cannot be identified under Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act. Thompson was released just before Christmas from Maplehurst prison near Milton, Ontario, where he had served 30 days for his role in a convenience-store robbery. He declined a bail hearing for his current charges. Police believe as many as 10 to 15 people were involved in the shooting and that more than one gun was fired.

On June 13, 2006, Toronto Police conducted multiple raids in the west end neighbourhood of Oakwood-Vaughan and Martha Eaton Way near Trethewey Drive and Black Creek Drive in the early morning, arresting six men and two teenagers. Charges which have been laid include: manslaughter, second-degree murder and attempted murder relating to six other by-standers. All arrested are members of two different street gangs. Ten people have been charged with murder or manslaughter in the case, three of whom are youths. Tyshaun Barnett (Black) and Louis Woodcock (Black), both 19, Jeremiah Valentine (Black), 24, and a youth who was 17 at the time of the shootings have all been charged with second-degree murder. As of January 13, 2006, police are still actively looking for the gunman who fired the shot that killed Creba.

The "Boxing Day Shooting" has been the subject of intense media coverage, particularly after a year in which the city of Toronto recorded 78 homicides and a record 52 shooting deaths. Only one month earlier on November 18, 2005, Amon Beckles was killed outside the sanctuary of a church while attending the funeral of his friend, Jamal Hemmings, whose shooting death he may have witnessed a week earlier, on Eglinton Avenue between Oakwood Avenue and Marlee Avenue. Some see Creba’s death as a sign of the beginnings of a big-city crime problem in Toronto. Detective Sergeant Savas Kyriacou of the Toronto Police Service spoke for these people in saying, "Toronto has finally lost its innocence. I think we're going to feel this day for a long time to come." At the same time, Toronto continues to have a lower violent crime rate than similarly-sized American cities, and on a per capita basis, with other Canadian cities.

Toronto police have since launched Project Green Apple (named after her favourite food) to help control the amount of violence in the area. Creba’s death has also caused much controversy: over the causes of gun crime and the ways to handle the problem; over race and the ongoing lack of response to minority killings. Also controversial is a resurgence of the Guardian Angels in Toronto – they arrived in mid-January to visit the city, and as of January 16, 2006, have found over 100 volunteers and a local leader in Lou Hoffer, a former Toronto police officer.

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