The shock of the recent shootings near Humber College North campus has resonated with the school community.
According to Toronto Police there have been two gun related homicides that occurred within the last month. The homicides happened close to Humber College North campus.
“We’re obviously shocked, I think it’s probably the initial reaction, having anything like that happen in close proximity to the college is a little disconcerting,” said Rob Kilfoyle, director of public safety and emergency management.
“We were also confident in our relationship with Toronto Police in terms of communicating any potential impacts,” he said.
Police say two vehicles were travelling westbound on Finch Avenue when an altercation took place on October 26 and shots were fired into the passenger side window. The barrage of shots killed Jamahl Darling, 27, of Toronto.
Another incident, on November 17, saw 26-year-old Narendra Ramdharry gunned down on Alba Place Court. Police said he was shot twice in the back.
“It’s actually had an impact, particularly students that live in the neighbourhood, there is a strong contingent of off campus housing in the area,” said Kilfoyle.
Kyle Heyworth, a first-year Leadership and Supply Management student who works in the area, believes security has the ability to prevent these incidents.
“The shooting didn’t happen on campus, but I’m concerned because this area is kind of sketchy,” said Heyworth.
Researcher Jeffrey Grogger of the Harris School of Public Policy in Chicago concluded in his study Local Violence and Educational Attainment in the Journal of Human Resources that violence in schools along with neighbourhood violence has a large effect on “educational attainment.”
“Yes, I’d say it’s affected my security, not in a large way but very small factors,” said Julian Paron, an 18-year-old first year Food and Nutrition student. “This area has a history of stabbings and shootings.”
“They start to question whether the neighbourhood is a good place, it’s not something that happens every day, which is a good thing,” said Kilfoyle.
Toronto Police crime statistics up to Dec. 7 show there have been 234 shootings in the city, up from the same date in 2014, where there were 170 shooting incidents. The number of victims, including the injured, has also increased by 131 with 350 to date in 2015 from 219 in the same time period in 2014.
“The message to stress there, is to actually talk to someone, debrief about it, get your fears on the table, and talk them through with somebody,” said Kilfoyle. “Otherwise, if you let them to fester or remain unchecked they become worse.”