Eleven year old was celebrating at a birthday party



Jim Wilkes/Toronto Star


Sharon Osborne grieves the shooting death of her 11-year-old nephew Ephraim Brown.


Ephraim Brown didn’t stand a chance. Eleven years old. Sitting on a fence minding his own business.

Up well past his bedtime early yesterday to celebrate his cousin’s birthday in a north Toronto townhouse complex.

And then the bullet tore into his neck, knocking him from his perch onto the sidewalk below. Caught in a crossfire between rival gangs.

Neighbours came running, but all they could do was scream and weep as his young life slipped away.

Another Toronto death by gun. One of three in a night of violence on city streets.

It was to have been a night of fun. More than 100 people, including an assortment of children, gathered in the parking lot to celebrate the birthdays of three residents.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair called yesterday’s shootings “senseless gun violence between two groups, clearly reckless, without any care for the lives and safety of innocent people.”

“I want to assure the family and the community that the Toronto police service will dedicate all of the resources required to bring those responsible for this violence to justice.”

He said he has received commitments from Mayor David Miller and Ontario Attorney-General Michael Bryant to provide “anything and everything that is required to successfully resolve this matter.”

Boxing day shooting

  • Bill Blair likened Ephraim’s slaying to the Boxing Day 2005 shooting death of schoolgirl Jane Creba, who was gunned down in a shootout between gangs.