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Tay Twp. community shaken after shooting, increased crime this summer

While Jamie Miller continues to fight for his life at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, where he was airlifted in critical condition Thursday afternoon following a shooting, residents in Tay Township are calling on an increased police presence and involvement in the community following what police confirmed was a second shooting on Maple Street in Victoria Harbour since Canada Day.

"We just know that there's kids around here. What if the shooting had gone on with kids riding their bikes and they're in the way?" asked Susan Mullen, who has lived in the area for about 10 years.

Mullen said she'd noticed increased drug dealing and suspicious behaviour since an apartment complex was built a few years ago, steps from her home.

Residents in the area have reported seeing drugs being sold around the building and on driveways. They fear for their safety.

"And we never used to have this. That's why we bought in the Harbour because it's quiet, and you've got the cottage people come up, and it's not like that much anymore," said Mullen.

Tay Township mayor Ted Walker said the latest shooting appeared to be another isolated incident according to messaging from police.

"It is a very unfortunate occurrence. We are grateful to the OPP for the quick response yesterday and for setting up the perimeters so the public was protected," added Walker. "They are currently investigating the incident, and they will be updating us in the future once they deem it appropriate to do so, but they have mentioned that it was an isolated incident and there was no threat to the general public."

Walker pointed to an increase in violent crimes in many communities across the province. Four people have been shot in the area in the past two years in the area in apparent targeted shootings. Police, however, have not confirmed the incidents are linked.

Jesse Deschamps, 30, was gunned down in late July outside a mall in Penetanguishene.

Two years ago, Jonus Palmer, 24, was killed while on a porch at a home in Tay Township along Old Fort Road.

Canada Day, up the street from where Miller was shot, an individual was hit in a shooting around midnight, according to police. That individual suffered minor injuries. However, it is unclear if they were the intended target.

"I guess it's part of the times we're living in," said the mayor. "As members of the public, we have to be aware of our surroundings and personal safety."

Walker said he is confident in the ability of police to keep residents safe.

"As any other resident, when something like this happens, you're concerned, but as I said, we have to put trust in our OPP colleagues and in my experience with them have been that they have always been very responsive."

Miller, who owns the nearby, Bubba's Pizza, was shot several times, according to witnesses who helped him before first responders arrived.

Police have asked the public for help with information and surveillance video from the area in the hours leading up to the shooting and have warned the public to be on the lookout for a black four-door sedan. Investigators believe the suspect or suspects in this shooting may still be armed.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police or Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous. Top Stories

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