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Friday, 18 January 2008

Paredes was a member of a private Gormley gun club called The Grange

Mr. Paredes was a member of a private Gormley gun club called The Grange, according to James Cox, the chairman of the umbrella sporting club.
Mr. Cox said Mr. Paredes, who appears on the club’s registration as a student, had to take two firearm safety courses and eight probationary shootings before he was given a permit.
“You can transport a firearm to the range and back home again, with reasonable stops, but not drinking at the bar,” Mr. Cox said in an interview. He said supervisors keep a close watch on members while inside the club and report anyone who does anything dangerous.
The Chief Firearms Office does issue an “authorization to carry” a restricted gun to someone who proves that he or she needs it for protection, or that it is essential to their job. Police said Mr. Paredes did not have such a permit.
“I would like to believe, and do believe, that people who take the time to take the training course, get their licence lawfully, acquire their firearms lawfully, sign up in a gun club, by and large are the decent people who are really trying to do things right,” said Tony Cooper, Deputy Chief Firearms Officer of Ontario. “And it’s an anomaly when somebody goes left of centre
Mr. Paredes was the registered owner of the handgun allegedly used in the murder, but did not have the authorization to carry it with him to the strip club. The accused allegedly intended to shoot one of the Brass Rail bouncers who had kicked them out minutes earlier.
It was Mr. Paredes who allegedly fired the shot, but Det. Sgt. Nielson said the murder was a “joint venture” between both accused. “In first-degree, it doesn’t have to be a lengthy, complex plan,” he said. Police do not believe the accused were intoxicated.
Both men were remanded into custody after making brief court appearances yesterday in front of family and friends. At one point, Mr. Paredes’ girlfriend burst into tears, and had to be comforted by his father.
Mr. Paredes and Mr. Zekarias do not have a criminal records, said Det. Sgt. Nielson. Mayor David Miller expressed his shock over the city’s second homicide, a few blocks from where Jane Creba was killed on Boxing Day 2005.
“The fact that a fairly young man legally had a gun is shocking. What does a 22-year-old in a city like Toronto need with a handgun?” Mr. Miller said. “That’s just not acceptable.”
The Mayor said he would consider expanding the numbers of closed-circuit television cameras on Yonge Street. “It’s time that together as Torontonians and Canadians we put an end to the ownership of handguns in our society.”


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