Second arrest in Anthony Smith murder, man tied to alleged Rob Ford crack video
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is seen posing with Anthony Smith, left, who was gunned down outside a King St. W. club, in a photo released by Gawker.com. One of the other men in the photo is believed to have been injured in the Smith shooting.
A second man now faces charges in the high-profile murder of Anthony Smith — a killing that may be tied to the crack-cocaine scandal dogging Mayor Rob Ford.
The man has been sought since May 17 on a Canada-wide warrant and was nabbed out west a week ago, Toronto Police said Thursday.
“Hanad Mohamed was located and arrested in Fort McMurray, Alta., with the assistance of the RCMP,” police said in a statement.
The 23-year-old Toronto man was taken into custody May 24 and will be charged with first-degree murder, police said, offering no further details.
The Wood Buffalo RCMP, who police Fort McMurray, were also tight-lipped about the unexpected twist.
“We did assist with an arrest,” Const. Christina Wilkins said. “But it’s not our investigation, so Toronto Police will have to speak to this matter.”
Smith, 21, was gunned down March 28 outside a King St. W. bar and his 19-year-old friend, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, was wounded.
The killing has been linked to Ford since the U.S. website Gawker and the Toronto Star alleged two Somali men with suspected ties to the drug trade showed them a 90-second cellphone video of the mayor smoking crack.
The men apparently hoped to sell the footage and resettle in Fort McMurray, where Mohamed was arrested.
The Star reporters claim they were first contacted by the men four days after Smith’s murder. There is now widespread belief the Etobicoke man was killed for his phone, which may have contained the video.
The holders of the alleged video also shared a photo of Smith with his arm around the mayor, holding a beer in one hand and flipping the bird with the other.
Two other men in the image, seemingly socializing with Ford, had their faces blurred. One of the men is the pal who was wounded when Smith was killed, sources said.
Despite raising $200,000 to buy the video, Gawker can’t seem to locate the Somali men — nor can the Star.
But a man in his 20s was shot in the leg May 21 at a 17th-floor apartment in Etobicoke, where it’s thought the video was stashed at some point.
Within days of Smith’s murder, police announced Nisar Hashimi, 23, was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant. He surrendered the next day, April 4, and was charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Police, who have been noticeably silent throughout the scandal, made no such announcement about Mohamed. Until Thursday, there was no indication investigators were looking for another suspect.
Mohamed was still in Toronto a week before cops quietly issued the Canada-wide warrant for him.
He was arrested for drug possession Aug. 19, 2012, a charge that was withdrawn when he appeared in court May 10.
Mohamed is scheduled to be in an Old City Hall courtroom Friday on the murder charge.
— With files from Sam Pazzano