Toronto rapper Houdini identified as victim in fatal downtown shooting

The man killed in a daylight shooting in Toronto’s entertainment district has been identified on social media as the up-and-coming rapper Houdini.

The 21-year-old was shot in the area of King Street West and Peter Street on Tuesday afternoon. A boy, 15, and a woman, 27, were also injured in the shooting, which police have characterized as a targeted attack.

News of Houdini’s death set off a wave of tributes from prominent musicians, including the rappers Tory Lanez and Meek Mill.

Houdini was considered a rising star in Toronto’s rap scene. His songs were streamed nearly 20 million times on Spotify in 2019.

The Toronto police homicide team is investigating the shooting, but the force has not yet confirmed the victim’s identity.

Investigators said on Tuesday that a blue vehicle was seen waiting at the scene for about 40 minutes before Houdini arrived in another vehicle.

Police say an occupant in the blue vehicle chased down Houdini and the 15-year-old boy while shooting at them. The woman injured in the shooting is believed to have been an innocent bystander, police said.

A police officer stands at the scene of Tuesday’s shooting in Toronto’s entertainment district. (Alan Habbick/CBC)

Police chief Mark Saunders described the killing as “very solvable,” due in part to the busy area in which it took place. Police also recovered a gun at the scene. No arrests or suspect information has been announced so far.

“The bottom line is, there’s a lot of evidence that we have gleaned so far,” Saunders said on Tuesday. “We know we are getting more evidence, particularly by way of video.”

Houdini grew up near Jane Street and Driftwood Avenue but more recently moved to Brampton with his family.

His latest project, a mixtape titled underGROUND, was released on March 18. The cover art features the top of the CN Tower sticking out from a sandy desert, an apparent homage to The Planet of the Apes.

Houdini is one of several Toronto rappers to have been killed within the last two years.

Jahquar Stewart, better known as Bvlly was shot and killed on Chirstmas Eve, 2019 in Oshawa. Jahvante Smart, also known as Smoke Dawg, died in a shooting in June 2018 in downtown Toronto.


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