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Thursday, 27 October 2011

A deadly spat with origins in Halifax has an eastern Canada police dragnet hunting the gangster wanted for a slaying in Toronto.

darnell wrightDarnell St. Clair Wright, 32, is wanted for first-degree murder in the Oct. 2 shooting of Jefflin Beals, 25, on Crawford St. near Trinity Bellwoods Park.

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TORONTO - A deadly spat with origins in Halifax has an eastern Canada police dragnet hunting the gangster wanted for a slaying in Toronto.

Toronto Police said Wednesday Darnell St. Clair Wright, 32, is wanted for first-degree murder in the Oct. 2 shooting of Jefflin Beals, 25, on Crawford St. at Lobb Ave., near Trinity Bellwoods Park.

Homicide Det.-Sgt. Wayne Banks said the two men had an ongoing dispute stretching back at least to 2009, when Beals was a target of a drive-by shooting in Halifax.

The father of two wasn’t injured in that attack and he refused to co-operate with police.

Banks said he’s still not yet clear about the motive of the murder, whether it was personal or gang-related.

Police said Beals, was in a friend’s car when a gunman approached on Crawford St. and opened fire.

Beals got out of the car and stumbled to a lane between two homes, but he died by the time emergency crews found him.

The victim had been staying with friends in Peel after arriving in the city just a few days before he was gunned down in the usually quiet area of west Toronto.

Banks said the gang Wright belongs to — the North Preston Finest — is suspected to be involved in the 2009 drive-by, but it’s unclear if the suspect was involved in that shooting.

“We believe he (Beals) was set up — that Wright found out he was in Toronto and that he was set up to be at that location,” Banks alleged.

The location of the murder, a residential street, “there’s no way it was a chance meeting, say like a night club or somewhere like that,” Banks said.

“He was there for a reason and they were waiting for him.”

But Banks doesn’t know yet what lured Beals to the spot.

He warns anyone who helped set up the ambush or is now hiding Wright will face charges.

“This isn’t just about arresting Darnell, this will be finding out anybody involved in the planning of it and anybody involved in the aiding and abetting after it,” he said.

Banks said there’s conflicting street information that Wright is in Halifax, and “we’re hearing information that he’s still in the city.”

Wright is considered dangerous, he said.

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