One year ago: Toronto police officer shot to death inside Mississauga Tim Hortons

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Published September 12, 2023 at 3:00 pm

Toronto Police Const. Andrew Hong was slain on Sept. 12, 2022 at a Mississauga coffee shop.

For Toronto Police Const. Andrew Hong, Sept. 12, 2022 started out just like any other day.

The well-liked and widely respected motorcycle cop, a 22-year member of the force and father of two teenagers, prepared for another shift of doing the job he loved.

On this day, duty called him to the Meadowvale area of Mississauga, where the 48-year-old Hong was taking part in police motorcycle training alongside some of his Toronto colleagues in addition to members of Peel Regional Police.

Tragically, Hong didn’t get to end the day by returning home to his family.

On a lunchtime break from the training session, Hong offered to get his colleagues and friends coffee and he headed to a nearby Tim Hortons at Argentia Road and Winston Churchill Blvd.

There, a gunman who’d been lying in wait for more than two hours for a cop — any cop — to show up at the coffee shop approached Hong as he sat at a table and shot him in the back of the head at close range.

Hong, who had decided to sit for a few moments to have lunch shortly after 2 p.m., died immediately.

The targeted, execution-style slaying sent immediate shockwaves through police ranks — in Toronto, Peel and across southern Ontario — and the entire community, city and quickly beyond Mississauga’s borders.

It also set in motion a massive manhunt across the GTA and farther afield that would end just over two hours later with the shooting death of the gunman, identified as Sean Petrie, 40, of no fixed address, at the hands of a Halton Regional Police officer in Hamilton.

But in between the police officer’s murder and the gunman’s death, yet more tragedy and carnage unfolded as the shooter made his way to Milton immediately after having shot and killed Hong in an unsuccessful attempt to grab his gun and expand his arsenal.

Sean Petrie, 40, was shot and killed by police after a manhunt on Sept. 12, 2022.

After stealing a Jeep Cherokee in a carjacking at the Tim Hortons, the gunman drove to a Milton auto repair shop, where he shot and killed two other people and wounded a third about 35 minutes after Hong had been slain.

Killed in Milton were the owner of the car repair business, Shakeel Ashraf, 38, who had employed Petrie for a short time about a year earlier, and a 28-year-old international exchange student who was working part-time at the shop.

The shooter then made his way to a cemetery in Hamilton, where he was confronted by both Hamilton and Halton police officers in the late afternoon.

During an attempted arrest, Petrie was shot and killed by a Halton police officer.

A subsequent investigation conducted by the province’s Special Investigations Unit cleared the police officer in the shooting death.

One year later, Hong’s colleagues paid tribute via social media to the officer and man they knew affectionately as “Honger.”

“Today, we remember Constable Andrew Hong. On this day in 2022, while participating in joint motorcycle squad training exercise with Peel Regional Police officers, he was senselessly shot and killed. We remember those who gave their lives in service of others,” Toronto Police said in a post to X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday.

The post garnered numerous comments from both police officers and the community at large.

“Not just a great loss to the service, but to his community, friends and family as well,” one person wrote.

“A life well lived, but much too short. It’s a reminder to us all to do the things we love, to tell the ones we love that we love them. This should be a reminder to everyone that life is short … seize the day, my friends. Honger would have wanted that,” another wrote in response.

Petrie, meanwhile, had an extensive criminal record dating back more than a decade that included several firearms convictions.

Police said at the time that Petrie, who in 2007 was flagged as a “high risk to reoffend,” had been estranged from family members for one to five years leading up to the shooting rampage.

Calling the tragic events “…a horrific act of violence that should never occur again,” Peel police Chief Nishan Duraiappah confirmed several days after the shooting deaths that the gunman arrived at the Tim Hortons about two hours and 15 minutes prior to the slaying of Hong.

He was reportedly waiting at the coffee shop for a police officer to show up in order to grab an additional weapon, the police chief said.

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