A brazen daylight shooting in the parking lot of a Dartmouth strip mall April 23 and a fatal crash on Highway 103 near Upper Tantallon two days later were connected, The Chronicle Herald has learned.
Sources familiar with the shooting investigation say two people involved in the crash were wanted by police for questioning.
Officially, police aren’t confirming any link between the two incidents.
In an email Friday, Halifax Regional Police spokeswoman Const. Carol McIsaac said the investigation into the shooting at 114 Woodlawn Rd. is ongoing.
McIsaac said the shooting victim is not co-operating with police and investigators have not “positively identified” any suspects.
The shooting happened at about 3 p.m. outside a nail salon.
Police said a man in his 20s suffered serious injuries.
Police have said little about the shooting since then, but documents used by investigators to obtain a warrant to search the victim’s car shed new light on the investigation.
The documents reveal the victim was Terrence Brooks, a 20-year-old Cole Harbour man.
In February 2017, Brooks was charged with seven offences, including attempted murder, in connection with a March 2016 incident in Halifax where a man named Keith Garnier was shot through the door of his apartment.
The charges against Brooks were withdrawn last July after a teenage boy pleaded guilty to attempted murder for that shooting and to second-degree murder in the March 2016 killing of Joseph Cameron in Dartmouth.
According to the search-warrant documents, witnesses
reported hearing several gunshots in the parking lot outside a nail shop and seeing two or three black males — one holding a gun — running from the scene and leaving in a car.
Brooks was in the back seat of his car, a white 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, when police arrived. He had been shot in the chest once and was alert but having trouble breathing.
Brooks told an officer he did not know what had happened other than that he had been shot. Paramedics took Brooks to the Halifax Infirmary, where the trauma team had been activated.
Shawn Peters told officers at the scene that he was with his friend when he was shot but would not provide any other information.
The owner of a truck parked near the nail shop told police the dash cam in his vehicle was always turned on.
Video from that camera shows Brooks walking out of the nail shop shortly before five shots are heard “in rapid succession,” police say in the documents.
Two black men, believed to be Brooks and Peters, run past the truck. A few moments later, the Jetta stops in front of the truck and the driver, Peters, gets out, walks around the car and opens the rear passenger door. He appears to take something from the back seat and put it in the trunk.
A black female, believed to be Dominique Kostakos, Brooks’s girlfriend, then runs out of the nail shop and goes into the back seat of the car. Witnesses said she began screaming
An employee of the nail shop told police Brooks had gone into the store to use the bathroom. She said his girlfriend was there getting her nails done.
After Brooks left the store, the employee heard gunshots. She looked outside and saw a white car attempting to back out with two people inside it. The car didn’t make it very far and stopped in the middle of the parking lot, she said.
A man told police he heard gunshots and saw three black males and one white female get into a silver Chevy Aveo hatchback and leave the parking lot. One of the males was carrying a pistol, the man said.
A woman who had been in the nail shop told officers she saw Brooks “huddled” outside with a light-skinned black female and two black males. She said she then heard a series of shots and saw the female and one of the males get into a silver Pontiac and take off at a high rate of speed.
According to the search-warrant documents, police recovered an unspent .22-calibre round in the parking lot, as well as some lead slugs and a black cellphone.
Brooks suffered a lung injury but was in stable condition when an officer spoke to him at the hospital two hours after the shooting. He refused to provide a statement or allow police to see his medical records. He also wouldn’t tell his parents who had shot him.
Police told the court it was necessary to search Brooks’s vehicle because it could contain “valuable forensic information” about the shooting, including bullets or bullet fragments.
“I can confirm from seized dashcam video that there were five shots but cannot account for all the spent rounds,” RCMP Const. Kyle Doane wrote in asking for the warrant.
The documents show that police searched the vehicle and seized a .22-calibre semi-automatic pistol, 1.5 grams of marijuana, a ball cap, an iPhone and some dish towels with blood on them.
On April 25 at about 4:20 p.m., a 2012 Dodge Ram truck went out of control and rolled over while travelling outbound on Highway 103.
Two passengers in the truck — a 20-year-old Halifax man and a 21-year-old Cole Harbour woman — were ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.
A 20-year-old Dartmouth man, the dead man’s twin brother, was airlifted to hospital with lifethreatening injuries. He’s still in hospital, sources say.
The driver of the truck, an 18-year-old Dartmouth woman, was treated at hospital and released.
RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dal Hutchinson said Tuesday the crash is still under investigation.