GTA shooting suspect may have been looking for police officer

GTA shooting suspect may have been looking for police officer

The gunman in Monday afternoon’s shooting rampage spent more than two hours at a Mississauga Tim Hortons before murdering Const. Andrew Hong and investigators now say that they believe he was “looking for a police officer.”

The detail was released during a news conference on Thursday morning as police formally identified 40-year-old Sean Petrie as the suspected gunman and, for the first time, provided a detailed timeline of the violence.

Investigators told reporters that the accused showed up at the Tim Hortons on Argentia Road, near Winston Churchill Boulevard, at around noon. He then waited in the area for approximately two hours and 15 minutes before shooting Hong at point-blank range and unsuccessfully attempting to remove his police-issued firearm from its holster, investigators said.

Following the shooting, police said that the suspect went across the road to an adjacent parking lot where he shot and carjacked another victim and proceeded onwards to Milton, where his rampage continued.

  • Timeline of fatal Toronto police officer shooting

Hong was in Mississauga instructing a motorcycle training course sponsored by Peel police, and was grabbing coffee for his colleagues while on his lunch break at the time of the shooting.

“The first officers who responded (to the shooting) were a combination of constable Hong’s colleagues who were training with him at the time, as well as other subsequent responding officers from Peel Regional Police,” Peel police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said during the news conference.

Constable Andrew Hong, who was fatally gunned down in Mississauga on Sept. 12, 2022, is pictured at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in this undated photo. (Handout /Toronto police)

The 48-year-old worked for the Toronto police force for the past 22 years and is survived by his wife, two teenage children and parents.

“At this point I believe the motive was that he was a uniformed officer and he was deliberately targeted,” Peel police Det. Michael Mavity said.

Petrie was wearing a yellow construction vest at the time of the shooting, but police said they are unsure why he was wearing it.

Sean Petrie, 40, seen in these surveillance photos. (TPS Handout)

“That’s something we’re exploring. To find out why he was wearing that vest. We haven’t identified a place of employment for him yet,” Mavity said.


Less than an hour after the Mississauga shootings, Halton police said the suspect drove to MK Auto Body Repairs in Milton and proceeded to shoot three more people.

The shop owner, Shakeel Ashraf, was pronounced dead at the scene. The 38-year-old was a husband and father of two young girls.

Sean Petrie, 40, seen in these surveillance photos. (TPS Handout)

Today, police said a 28-year-old international exchange student who was working part-time at the shop was injured in the shooting and is not expected to live.

“We are not releasing his name at this time out of respect for his family, but we anticipate doing so at a future date and time,” Halton Police Chief Steve Tanner said. “The third victim, a 43-year-old male, was also an employee of MK auto repairs. He was shot in the leg and has since been released from hospital and is continuing to recover at home.”

Another victim who was shot at in Mississauga is in stable condition but suffered life-altering injuries, police said.

After the shooting in Milton, police said Petrie fled the scene but was located shortly after using “investigative techniques” at a cemetery in Hamilton.

“At that time, an altercation took place between the suspect, Sean Petrie, and members of both the Hamilton and Halton police services. As a result, the suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene,” Tanner said.

The Special Investigations Unit is investigating the incident.

In a news release issued later on Thursday afternoon, the SIU said that preliminary findings suggest that there was “an exchange of gunfire between officers and the 40-year-old man” prior to his death.

“At that time, an altercation took place between the suspect, Sean Petrie, and members of both the Hamilton and Halton police services. As a result, the suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene,” Tanner said.

Police also spoke in detail Thursday about the provincial alert that residents received on their mobile devices on Monday.

Duraiappah said the alert was issued as soon as police “were able to extrapolate that there were multiple incidents happening.”

He also responded to complaints about the lack of detail in the alert but said police included as much detail as they could, and that the alert “achieved its purpose.


In today’s news conference, police appealed for any information about what might have motivated the rampage.

Duraiappah said Petrie is known to police and has an “extensive criminal record,” including convictions for assault, armed robbery, carry a concealed weapon, and possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm.

In March 2007, Petrie was placed on the national flagging system after being deemed a “high-risk” to reoffend for an offence that occurred in 2005.

Petrie’s last conviction was in 2015 for a criminal driving offence, according to police.

“I can also say that investigators have interviewed known family of Mr. Petrie and learned he was estranged from them, and depending on which family member that they had spoken to, for a period of one to over five years,” Duraiappah said.

Police released a photo of Petrie along with a picture of the red Corolla he was driving when he arrived at Tim Hortons, with Ontario licence CXMM 077. Petrie was believed to be living in that car, according to investigators.

A red Toyota Corolla belonging to suspect Sean Petrie. (TPS Handout)

Police are asking anyone with information about Petrie, the incident or activities leading up to it to contact them at 905-453-2121, extension 3205, or Crime Stoppers anonymously.


Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie attended the news conference and offered her condolences to the victims.

“I’m truly heartbroken that this has happened in our city and that the families who lost their loved ones must now find a new way forward with this unexpected grief,” she said. “Over the past few days, we’ve seen our community come together to mourn. We have seen that love is more powerful than hate and that by being there for one another, and by honouring their lives, it is our hope that each day that passes gets a little bit easier.”

Chief Tanner said officers across all police forces are grappling with the tragedy and their thoughts and prayers are with the victims.

“There’s a degree of trauma for all of those people. There’s also the added stress of a special investigations unit investigation. Even when you did absolutely nothing wrong, time will bear that,” he said.

A funeral for Ashraf was held in Mississauga on Wednesday and a funeral service for Hong is currently being planned.

Starting Thursday, books of condolences for Hong are available for the public to sign at two Toronto police locations.

One book is at Traffic Services, located at 9 Hanna Avenue, between Sept. 15 to Sept. 20 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Another book is available at Toronto Police Service Headquarters, located at 40 College Street, on Sept. 15 and 16 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., on Sept. 17 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sept. 19 and 20 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.