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New details surface about family members killed in shooting in Toronto’s Regent Park

New details have come to light about the family that was at the centre of a daylight shooting in Regent Park on Tuesday afternoon.

The incident happened near Dundas and Parliament streets at around 1:30 p.m., leaving two men dead and a woman with non-life-threatening injuries.

Court records have since identified the victims as Ngoyi Kongolo and Didier Kongolo.

A source tells CP24 that the deceased are the father, who neighbours say they know as John Kongolo, and the brother of the alleged shooter.

They also said that the woman who was shot is the suspect’s mother.

In a March 13 news release, police said one of the victims, along with the woman, was found inside a residence with gunshot wounds and were transported to hospital, where the man later died.

The violence spilled out onto the street where the other male victim was pronounced dead, they said.

Forensic teams have been working deligently throughout the day inside the family’s home on nearby Arnold Avenue.

On Wednesday morning, Toronto police announced that 23-year-old Benedict Johnson Kongolo, of Toronto, is facing two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the homicides. He has been remanded into custody and is set to appear again in court on March 20.

There are no other outstanding suspects.

Police said that the accused was arrested a short time after the shooting following a foot pursuit that saw two officers injured. One of the officers sustained an arm injury while the other “suffered serious leg injuries and was admitted to hospital for treatment.” On Wednesday, a source told CP24 that one of the injured officers remains in hospital and is undergoing surgery today.

FAMILY IS FROM THE CONGOLESE-CANADIAN COMMUNITY

The victims and the alleged shooter are from the Congolese-Canadian community and a meeting by the provincial association is being planned, said Patrick Kaketa Mpiana, president of the Congolese Association of Ontario.

Mpiana said what happened on Tuesday afternoon is “more than a tragedy.”

During an interview with CTV News Toronto, he added that those in the community he represents are very concerned about the deadly gun violence that has claimed the life of two of their members.

“The Congolese community is not doing really well because, you know, when we have this kind of bad news in the community, all people are wondering what is going on. Most people are very sad,” he shared.

Mpiana described the Kongolos, whom he said he’s known for more than 10 years, as a “lovely” family, a father, a mother with kids.

“But, you know, every family has their issues, but we don’t know what exactly is going on since there is an investigation from the police,” he said, adding that the deadly gun violence that happened in Regent Park on Tuesday is not reflective of what his community is all about.

“This is not basically Congolese culture, killing people or killing each other. It is not part of our culture,” he said.

“We’re used to living in peace. We love people.”

Mpiana said its time to sit down with parents and families as well as government representatives to come up with better ways to address challenges early on before violence erupts.

Patrick Kaketa Mpiana

REGENT PARK COMES TOGETHER TO SUPPORT VICTIMS’ FAMILY MEMBERS

Yesterday’s deadly gun violence has set shock ripples throughout the Regent Park community.

Speaking with reporters on Wednesday morning, Walied Khogli Ali, of the Regent Park Neighbourhood Association, said that in the hours following the shooting neighbours rallied “with compassion” to take care of the toddler-age daughter of one of the victims.

He also thanked everyone for ensuring that those affected by this tragedy were fed, and had access to clothing and safe shelter.

“We have to look out for each other in times of crisis and that’s what we did yesterday,” Ali said.

Walied Khogli Ali

The gun violence in Regent Park comes just weeks after the downtown east neighbourhood celebrated almost two years without a gun-related death.

Ali credited that success to “years of hard work” supported by investments made in the Regent Park Social Development Plan, notably $2.5 million from the City of Toronto.

“We saw the results. There was a change in culture. There was more sense of a community,” he said.

“We were hoping to achieve our goal of social cohesion and inclusion, and that’s what we we’re celebrating.”

Ali, however, is concerned as the next round of those funds aren’t set to be released until the end of the summer due to what he described as a “refresh” of the city’s plan.

“I think that’s too late. I’m really concerned about what’s going to happen between now and then,” he said.

“VERY DISTURBING, VERY TRAUMATIZING,” SAYS NEIGHBOUR

Neighbour Hani Afrah said that the Kongolos moved in around the same time her family did 13 years ago.

“The father is a very kind person, down to earth. He says good morning, hi how are you? It’s very sad this has to happen in our community,” she told CTV News Toronto on Wednesday.

Afrah said she was home at the time of yesterday’s shooting and heard “someone falling to the floor.” She said that she witnessed the aftermath of the incident when the injured mother came out of the residence and screamed for someone to call 911.

The mother of four also said that she’s been taking care of a one-year-old child, whom she retrieved from inside the home following the shooting.

“It’s very disturbing, very traumatizing. It’s very sad because we came here from back home for safety here,” Afrah said.

“The dad passed away. The son passed away. The other son is in jail. It’s terrible.”

With files from CTV News Toronto’s Beth Macdonell and CP24’s Beatrice Vaisman.