Victim identified in John Street homicide

The Thunder Bay Police Service have identified 23-year-old Dallas Bannon as the victim in a fatal shooting that took place Sunday afternoon in the John Street area

THUNDER BAY — A 23-year-old Thunder Bay man has been identified as the victim in the city’s first homicide of 2023.

The Thunder Bay Police Service responded to calls for assistance Sunday afternoon at approximately 3:30 pm at a housing complex on the 700 block of John Street.

Officers who attended the scene discovered a male with injuries consistent with a shooting. The male was transported to hospital and was pronounced dead at approximately 9 pm

Det. Insp. Jeremy Pearson with the Thunder Bay Police Service identified the victim as 23-year-old Dallas Bannon of Thunder Bay.

A 17-year-old male from Hamilton has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection to the shooting.

“The investigation remains ongoing, however, what we learned to date is this was not a random incident,” Pearson said. “These are individuals who came into contact with one another around a set of circumstances.”

However, Pearson added that at this point in the investigation, the actual incident itself does not appear to be connected to the illicit drug trade in the city.

“The investigation into this homicide does not suggest a link between this act of violence and the illicit drug trade,” Pearson said.

As to why the youth was in the city is still under investigation, as well as the firearm used in the fatal shooting.

“We do have a scene secured and search warrants being prepared for execution,” Pearson said.

The suspect was under a weapons prohibition from a separate criminal incident in Southern Ontario, which Pearson said is a source of frustration among investigators.

“When you have someone who is bound by a prohibition but still finds himself accused of a firearm-related homicide, he speaks to something being broken doesn’t it?” Pearson said.

The fact that it is a youth involved, as well as firearms being used in an act of violence, is also a growing concern for police.

“It’s a matter of grave concern when you have young people, and I would argue the fact that we are now encountering firearm violence as the rule as opposed to the exception, the fact that it is now so common in our community, is a source of concern above and beyond the shocking fact that he is a youth accused,” Pearson said.

But Pearson also praised the police response to the incident, including the officers who first arrived on the scene and assisted the victim while also securing the scene and area in search of a suspect.

“The police response to this incident was effective, timely, and it was to my mind successful,” he said. “I am very proud of the work all officers involved did in this incident and while this is a shocking and unfortunate and a tragic event, the police response is something I hope the community takes solace.”

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