The man responsible for killing two people, including a uniformed Toronto police officer, and sending three others to hospital with serious gunshot injuries on Monday has a long criminal history dating back at least 20 years.
The Star has confirmed Sean Petrie, 40, is the man police say was responsible for shooting Const. Andrew Hong dead in a Tim Hortons in Mississauga before police shot him dead in Hamilton — a rampage through the western part of the GTHA that also left Milton auto body shop owner Shakeel Ashraf dead and three others with serious gunshot injuries. Petrie’s death by police shooting brought an end to a multi-jurisdictional manhunt that has left the region troubled by the still-unexplained violence.
Though an emergency alert sent out over the provincial system initially identified the assailant as “Shawn Petry,” age 30, sources have confirmed his correct name and birth date to the Star.
Now that the SIU has invoked its mandate to investigate Petrie’s death — standard practice under provincial law when police are involved in an incident causing serious injury or death — neither they nor police services would confirm Petrie’s identity. The SIU did confirm they had contacted his family about his death Monday night and that a post-mortem examination was scheduled for Wednesday.
Multiple sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the case, told the Star that Petrie had an extensive criminal history, dating back at least two decades.
The Star has obtained court and parole records for a Sean Petrie with the same birth date that show criminal arrests dating from 2002 up to as recently as 2016. The charges include weapons, drugs, gangs, assault, robbery and more.
Those records reveal an individual who had extensive contact with the justice system in their 20s — but the Star has found no records of a conviction in Petrie’s 30s, and no records of arrests in the last six years.
The earliest charges are in from a north Toronto court and relate to an assault and failure to comply with conditions for release for which he was sentenced in February 2002. Details in that case were not immediately available.
Records dated August 2010 from the Parole Board of Canada detail that a then-28-year-old Sean Petrie already had a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for property crimes, robbery, drug trafficking and weapon possession.
Petrie, who had been incarcerated at an institution redacted from the documents, was granted a statutory release from prison that August, according to the board’s documents. It was noted that his behaviour while incarcerated was “negative,” but had improved toward the end of his stay. Petrie completed the rest of his federal sentence in June 2012.
That is the last record of a criminal conviction in the documents obtained by the Star; Petrie was not on parole at the time of Monday’s shootings, the board said.
As a condition of his release, Petrie was forbidden from contacting members of what appears to be a named gang. The parole board withheld the name of this gang and other specific information, citing a law that said it could jeopardize someone’s safety or reveal a source of information obtained in confidence.
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Petrie was also prohibited from entering the area where the bulk of his past criminal activity had taken place; boundaries for this were from Kipling Avenue to the west, Allen Road to the east, Eglinton Avenue to the south and Steeles Avenue to the north.
The parole board report noted that Petrie’s criminal past was “directly linked” to the “negative influence” of people in his life involved in “gang subculture.”
“Your involvement with these associates has led to your convictions for property crimes, robbery, drug trafficking, and weapon possession,” the board decision states.
The report says Petrie displayed a “comfort with possessing cocaine and other narcotics for the purpose of trafficking.” Because of this, in addition to an “indication of regular marijuana use” and Petrie’s refusal to submit to institutional drug screening, a condition was imposed on Petrie’s release stipulating he abstain from non-prescribed drugs.
The board did note that, at the time of his release in 2010, Petrie had completed a violence-prevention program “with some gains,” had plans to live with a “pro-social girlfriend” and had the benefit of “positive sibling support.”
Petrie would go on to be caught up in the justice system at least two more times, but was not convicted in either case.
In 2015, he faced charges filed in court in Brampton for possession of child porn as well as charges relating to procuring and advertising sexual services. These charges were withdrawn. A charge of robbery in 2016 in Toronto was also withdrawn. The reasons the charges were dropped were not immediately available.
The Star tried to obtain a more fulsome picture of Petrie’s criminal history but the Ministry of the Attorney General, which oversees court services, did not provide that information on Tuesday. The Star obtained some court records by contacting individual courthouses for information in their systems.
None of the documents on Petrie’s criminal record offer clear insight into why he would kill a uniformed police officer before engaging in a three-city rampage.
Jennifer Pagliaro is a Toronto-based crime reporter for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @jpags
Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and policing for the Star. Reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis
Ben Cohen is a Toronto-based staff reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @bcohenn
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