It’s the worst kept secret in Jamestown.
“Lots of people know who shot Rochelle,” said a woman who lives in the neighbourhood and was in a car right next to where she was gunned down.
People in the area of Jamestown Crescent know who is responsible for the gutless slaying of Candice Rochelle Bobb that saw her tiny premature baby taken from her by C-section clinging to life and are not talking?
“Of course,” said the woman, who didn’t want her name used. “They are not going to be telling anybody. They are terrified. They know what will happen if they ever told police.”
Another woman with three kids named Vanessa says the code is understood.
“People are just scared s---less in here,” she said. “If you ever did say something they (gangsters) will come back and get your children. We are living in fear.”
In her time living in the public housing project in the Rexdale neighbourhood, she says she knows five people who were murdered.
“And I know of 13 more who have been shot but I am losing count,” she said.
She also lost count of the gunshots that wake up her children.
Turns out Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders was right when he told reporters this week “members of this community know who those people are that are carrying firearms” and that “we need them to assist us in identifying who those people are.”
Good luck with that, says Vanessa.
“I like the chief but he is living in a good house in a good neighbourhood that is not here,” she said. “It is easy for him to say.”
Police have yet to make an arrest in Bobb’s murder but they are investigating.
“I feel a lot safer when I see a 23 Division cruiser driving around on a patrol,” said Vanessa.
“I haven’t been sleeping at night for fear that a bullet will come through the window and kill one of us.”
Hearing this story, Etobicoke North (Ward 2) council candidate Michael Ford, crime specialist Ross McLean and I were all disgusted.
“We just can’t have children living in these conditions in our city,” said Ford.
I know a lot of people think this is a two-day-old story but the horror never ends for Jamestown. It’s especially hard when not only is the killer still out there but many people hint they know exactly who it is but are to afraid to say.
Hopefully Saunders and the Crown attorney are working on a way to kick down some doors here and all over town.
They need to put a bunch of evil thugs in handcuffs while taking as many guns out of these complexes as possible before the 30 homicides before the Victoria Day weekend end up being close to 90 by New Year’s Eve.
“This is not living,” said Vanessa. “It’s like living in jail but more dangerous.”
It’s pathetic when nice people trying to raise their children live in an area where everybody can know who pulled a trigger but understand it’s a death sentence to tell.
When you see the empty playgrounds and frightened residents, it’s obvious something needs to be done.
A man named Glenroy with four kids says Vanessa and the others speaking up are right on all counts.
“It’s not nice,” he said of having to raise kids here. “People know who is behind this shooting and others but just don’t talk.”
Perhaps the biggest secret in town may not be a secret after all.