A Toronto skateboarding legend and a well-loved bartender are dead after a shooting at an after-hours bar just outside Kensington Market early Friday morning.
Friends identified former pro skate boarder Justin Bokma and bartender LeFranc Matthews as the two men killed in a shooting that left at least one other person injured, according to police. Both men were in their early 40s.
At least 30 people were in the after-hours club when multiple shots rang out in the space just above Thymeless bar at 355 College St., just west of Spadina Ave., police say.
Two to three armed male suspects are believed to have fled on foot. Police are looking at surveillance video to figure out which direction the suspects went, if a vehicle was involved and how many guns were used.
Friends of Bokma described him as a charismatic and charming man.
“I think anyone that knew him would describe him as a very kind and charming and funny guy,” said Richard Lett, a friend of a local slam poet and stand-up comedian. Bokma regularly attended Lett’s shows, and the two became good friends.
Aside from loving comedy, Bokma had been a skateboarder who went pro in the 90s. Dave Buchanan, a friend of Bokma’s and owner of Hammer Skateboard shop, recalled that the Toronto skating community was amazed when Bokma’s skating career took off.
“It was like, ‘my God, that’s insane.’ It was a big deal for people around here,” said Buchanan.
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