Estimated reading time — 8 minutes
The following is a brief report outlining the tragic events that transpired in western Toronto on the evening of Tuesday, June 13th, 2017. Court proceedings are quietly underway and much of the public view has been diverted in a direction I feel doesn’t properly represent what truly took place that night.
Whether all the details will eventually be made clear and available to the public, or worse yet — the jury, I cannot say. I will do my best to carry out what I perceive to be the correct course of action. I will compose what is, in my opinion, a factual and unbiased transcription of what actually happened. The information will be drawn from endless hours of study of case reports and personal interviews.
My only request is that you do everything within your power to leave your personal bias and preconceived notions out of this. Please, don’t turn on the TV or scour the internet looking for what will be ultimately falsified news reports.
Read the information I will leave for you here. Form your own opinion, then proceed how you see fit.
Part One – The Location.
Pine Grove Rehabilitation Center: Known by many of the locals as the “The Institution”. The center served as a halfway house, homeless shelter, and drug addiction service of sorts. The three-story building was approximately fifteen thousand square feet in size and housed thirty-seven patients/residents on its last day of operation. It was built in a residential neighbourhood on a large corner lot with a sprawling lawn the similar in size to a football field separating it from the street. It was, by all accounts, a welcomed member of the community. No history of problems or conflict with the local population. It was considered to be a model of operational efficiency and human rehabilitation success until the night of June 13th, 2017.
Part Two – The Major Players Involved.
Kady Harris: The twenty-four-year-old Rehabilitation nurse who would make the initial phone call and spur the police into action that evening. She had been working at The Institution for two years after graduating with an honours nursing degree from Queen’s University. She was one of two staff members working the overnight shift that evening.
Tyler LeBlanc: The Police Chief in charge of the western part of the city. He had recently been under scrutiny. Mumblings of him stepping down were already being whispered about after serious corruption within the organization was uncovered during his tenure. His career and reputation were at risk and his health issues and stress problems were already well documented. He was the one responsible for making the difficult decisions on scene. Nearly all the major moves could in some way be sourced back to him.
Part Three – The Phone Call.
This recording was leaked to me by someone close to the defense. This is a written transcription of exactly what was said between Toronto Dispatcher, Lindsay Matthews, and a distraught sounding Kady Harris at 9:51 PM.
Dispatch: Hello, this is 9-1-1. What is your emergency?
Harris: Please! Help! I need all the policemen you have in the city to come to the Pine Grove Rehabilitation center, right now!
Dispatch: Miss, please try and remain calm. What is your name and current address?
Harris: Fuck! We don’t have time for this! I’m Kady Harris and I’m at The Institution. 3354 Cowherd Avenue.
Dispatch: I understand. Can you please tell me what’s wrong?
Harris: Something is inside the building. I have no idea what it is or where it came from, but it’s attacking the residents! Dear god, save us!
Dispatch: Ms. Harris, I’m sending some officers on patrol close to your area. Just hang on. Can you tell me any specifics on what you’ve seen?
(loud screaming in the background)
Harris: We don’t need a few officers! We need every officer in the city and we need them now! I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s long and black. It’s radiating heat and has these piercing yellow eyes. It’s already devoured a few of the residents. The halls are filling up with smoke!
Dispatch: Miss, I need to you try and remain calm. I’m having problems hearing you. Officers are on the way now.
Harris: Please hurry! Oh dear g–
The phone was disconnected from Harris’ end at 9:53 PM.
Part Four – Events on the Scene.
Below is the most accurate depiction of the events that I’ve been able to acquire. I’ve put in the exact or rough time of each occurrence to try and best represent how the sequence truly unfolded.
10:01 PM – Upon being detailed of the above phone call, Police Chief Tyler LeBlanc issues a maximum alert and all On-Duty officers are called to the scene. Two SWAT teams comprised of twelve officers each are deployed. LeBlanc and other members of the senior and administrative staff head to the scene as well.
10:27 PM – All lights are off in the building. Faint smoke has been rising from some of the windows on the right side. No significant changes have taken place since police personnel arrived on scene. All officers have weapons drawn and are on high alert on the street in front of the property. Spotlights are set up, but are not adequately illuminating the building given how far back it’s built on the property. Homes in the immediate surrounding have been evacuated. LeBlanc and other high ranking officials stand behind one of the SWAT trucks. He is on the radio with the station trying to see if they can get more information or connect with Kady Harris again before ordering a raid of the building.
10:28 PM – Lights turn on in the front hall of the second story. This is the first documented change in action or circumstance from the inside. Officers tense up and await orders to charge — possibly even open fire. What seems to be a long, black snake-like shape moves from one end of the building to the other. Heavy black smoke starts to rise out of the open windows after it has passed. The lights flicker briefly and then go out altogether.
10:29 PM – An irate and deeply distressed LeBlanc starts begging and pleading for the station to try and connect him with Harris one last time. This time, the connection is successful and LeBlanc manages the following, short exchange with her:
LeBlanc: Is this Kady Harris?!
Harris: Yes! Who is this? Someone with the authority to actually do something?
LeBlanc: This is the Chief of Police. I need you to tell me what’s exactly going on in there, young lady. I have practically the whole city’s police force waiting out here.
Harris: Oh thank god! A few of us have locked ourselves in the basement. It knows we’re in here. It’s slithering up and down the hall. It’s only a matter of time before it breaks in and starts doing what it’s done to everybody else.
LeBlanc: What exactly is it? I can’t go barking orders when I don’t even know what I’m dealing with!
Harris: (her voice becomes noticeably calmer on the recording here) — I need you to listen to me very carefully. I know how bizarre what I’m about to say sounds. You need to do everything within your power to make sure whatever the hell got in here never gets out. It’s killed a lot of innocent people tonight and it’s only hunting for more. The rest of us won’t last much longer anyways, so whatever course of action you take, make sure you bring a lot of force. There is an evil inside this place which can never see the outside world.
LeBlanc: Ms. Harris, what in god’s name are you talking about?
(Harris screams away from the phone)
Harris: It’s getting hot again… Please do something!
An explosion goes off somewhere near the rear of the building. Harris’ phone cuts out at the same time.
10:31 PM – LeBlanc and other senior members are finalizing tactical plans to storm the building. Helicopters and additional support are being summoned to the area. Before any plan is carried out, the front doors of The Institution burst wide open. Everyone I’ve talked to says that a communal sense of panic and paralyzing terror engulfs the policemen waiting on the street.
Something emerges in the open doorway. It’s tough to tell exactly what it is. The spotlights still aren’t revealing enough to see properly. What appears to be two yellow dots appear and glow in the darkness. Their movement is slight. They creep forward a tiny bit and then retreat. Almost as if whatever is there is pondering its next move.
LeBlanc calls the order for all personnel to raise their and ready their weapons. Almost immediately after, another explosion goes off in a cluster of trees to the side of the property. This the documented breaking point for the terrified LeBlanc, who calls the order to open fire.
A hailstorm of rounds is unleashed at the building entrance. Pieces of brick go flying off, nearby windows shatter, and both doors are blown completely off their hinges. Quickly, the yellow spots disappear from view. The shooting goes on for approximately for forty-five seconds before LeBlanc makes the order to stop.
10:33 PM – The original plan of storming the building is set into motion with slight variation — Officers are instructed to open fire in any situation they remotely suspect dangerous, regardless if civilians are in the vicinity.
The largest team heads for the front door, many of the officers later admitted they were terrified and questioning the order to advance. Upon entry through the front entrance, they discover the mass carnage. Not at all what anyone was expecting to find.
10:34 PM – The call for all available ambulances in the area is made. After discovery that most of The Institution’s patients, along with the other nurse on duty in the front hallway, LeBlanc changes the primary objective to civilian rescue.
Everyone had been gagged and bound (after being heavily sedated according to later autopsies) and lined up against the back wall of the front lobby. There was no sign of trauma or injuries before they were hit by the barrage of police bullets. Every one of them would later be pronounced dead on scene.
10:36 PM – A police unit searching the basement finds the only person left alive inside the building, Kady Harris. She’s smoking casually on an old wooden stool in a recreation area. She’s wordless and puts up no resistance to being taken away by the officers and brought for the station.
She was entirely unharmed.
Part 4 – Evidence Found in the Ensuing Investigation.
Most notable findings in the ensuing investigation are as follows:
Internet searches on how to make homemade explosives, along with items purchased both online and in store for the bomb construction by Kady Harris.
Medium-length black curtains tied to a stretcher like a long, cylinder-like flag that were found on the second floor.
Smoke machines purchased by Kady Harris and left under the second floor windows.
Two yellow and battery-powered neon lights taped to a piece of bristol board were shattered by police bullets and found on the floor of the lobby. It’s believed they were simply hanging from the top of the doorframe and swaying gently in the wind.
Part 5 – Conclusions.
I hope the above has come off as unbiased as I intended. It is my sincerest hope that you will take the information, along with whatever else you able to uncover, and form an educated opinion of what really happened.
I just want to pose a few questions here to conclude:
Is the blame for the massacre entirely on LeBlanc’s shoulders?
The man was desperate and was in a situation that no training could have ever prepared him for. Everyone else on the scene notes being terrified as well. All other senior members confessed to being onboard with opening fire.
What was going through his head that night? What did he think he saw in the building and in the open doorway? Had he simply been the victim of Kady Harris’ manipulation?
What was Kady Harris’ motivation?
This will always be the one that bothers me the most. If her intention was simply to murder her co-worker and all residents of The Institution that night, then why didn’t she do it quickly and with ease while everyone slept? She was able to apprehend them easily enough and line them up in the lobby. Why not just finish the job herself? Trying to get police to open fire only limited her chances of success.
More importantly, why did it have to be the cops who did it? Why the need for such a show?
I can’t say what goes on inside this woman’s head. I’ve never spoken to her directly. I’ve only seen her on the stand and sitting beside her court-appointed lawyer.
When I look at her, I see a woman who feels no remorse.
CREDIT: J.D. McGregor
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