2nd July 2000

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Tamil gang connection in Sandy's death

Sandy Ebrahim was the unintended victim of Tamil gang-related violence when she was killed by a shotgun blast last summer, York Regional Police confirmed yesterday.

Just days after the 16-year-old Mississauga teenager was gunned down in a Markham plaza parking lot, the National Post reported that police were looking hard at this theory.

For the past year, however, police would only say they had a "definite direction" in the case.

But yesterday, on the one-year anniversary of the teen's death, Detective Bill Faulkner revealed that police believe one of Sandy's acquaintances had links to a Tamil gang and was the intended target of the shotgun blast.

"We're confident that this is part of the Tamil conflict in the GTA.

"In the last month, we've had two individuals that have come forward who said we are going in the right direction and confirmed our beliefs that this is Tamil related and related to the strife going on in 1999," Det. Faulkner said.

In the spring of 1999, police linked five drive-by shootings in Scarborough to the war between two rival Tamil gangs A.K. Kannon and VVT.

"That's what led up to the Ebrahim shooting. We're confident one of her associates was associated to one of those gangs. We can't say he's a member but at least an associate."

Around 3 a.m on June 28, as Sandy stood outside her friend's silver Audi, a black Lincoln Navigator circled the lot then pulled up to the teens.

At least 10 teenagers were in or around the Audi, including five boys that Sandy and her friends knew. Det. Faulkner said the boys were of Tamil decent.

Witnesses say one of the passengers in the Navigator, who was wearing a cloth over his face (police believe there were at least four people in the vehicle) rolled down the window and opened fire with a shotgun at near point black range.

Sandy, who was just days shy of her 17th birthday, was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Det. Faulkner said he believes he has spoken to people who know the identities of the killers. But the case has been hampered by the reluctance of some witnesses to come forward with information.

And he says some of Sandy's friends may be holding back what they know about the killing.

"Their co-operation has been limited, as well. The people that were close to the victim and in the immediate area we don't feel that they are being fully co-operative with us," he said.Det. Faulkner believes they may be too afraid to speak out

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