Homicide detectives investigate fatal shooting in Toronto’s north end

The Toronto Police homicide squad is investigating after a man was fatally shot in North York on Thursday night. According to a police report, at approximately 10:46 p.m., police responded to a call for sounds of gunshots in the area of Finch Ave. W and Dufferin St.

Officers located a dark-coloured SUV with multiple bullet holes to the vehicle. A man was located outside of the vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound—he was later pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim was later identified as Alexander Vinogradsky, 39, of Thornhill.

Vinogradsky was the owner of Paramount Towing, which was at the centre of Project Platinum—a 2020 York Regional Police investigation into violence in the tow truck industry. Through the investigation, police stated that Paramount Towing, as well as other rival towing groups, were involved in defrauding insurance companies with vehicles involved in collisions and staged collisions. In the joint-forces police investigation, 11 tow trucks, 40+ illegal firearms (including a machine gun, 16 handguns, and 13 shotguns), among other weapons, ammunition, and drugs were seized.

According to a York Regional Police report, in May 2020, Vinogradsky was charged with participating in a criminal organization, instructing offences for a criminal organization, recruiting for a criminal organization, committing offences for a criminal organization, fraud, public mischief, and conspiracy to commit arson.

When Project Platinum was announced to the public, police noted that the competition for control of the towing market resulted in “murders, attempted murders, shootings, assaults, arsons, threats, and property damage,” and that their investigation would put an end to tow-truck associated violence in York Region and the GTA.

According to the Toronto Star, Vinogradsky had previous attempts on his life. In September 2020, a judge granted Vinogradsky’s request to have the Crown redact his home address, as well as that of his parents, from court documents, as he believed their lives were in danger. The Star also reports that Vinogradsky was facing a $2.4-million negligence lawsuit filed by the family of a security guard who was fatally shot with an unregistered handgun while guarding a lot.

Regarding Thursday night’s shooting—anyone who was in the area of Finch Ave. W and Dufferin St. between 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., who may have dash camera footage or any other video, is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.