Toronto Police help in search for murder suspect
Windsor Police have released these undated photos of Mohamud Abukar Haji, 27.
Updated: Wed Aug. 11 2010 3:22:07 PM
Toronto Police are helping their Windsor colleagues search for a murder suspect by plastering a reward poster in the Eglinton Avenue West and Weston Road area.
Windsor Police have issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for Hagi on a charge of first-degree murder.
The 27-year-old is being sought in connection with the Dec. 22, 2007 death of Luis Acosta-Escobar, who was found dead of gunshot wounds near a Windsor nightclub.
Det. Wayne Parsons of the Windsor Police’s major crimes branch told CTV News on Wednesday that they know Hagi took a cab to Toronto in the hours after Escobar’s death.
“He was anxious to get out of town,” Parsons said.
They know Hagi had approached people on the street, including an off-duty firefighter, and offered them a large amount of cash to be driven to Toronto, he said.
Hagi, while a Windsor resident at the time of the shooting, has family in Toronto, Parsons said.
Const. Wendy Drummond told CTV News that Haji was last seen in the Eglinton/Weston area, which has a Somali community. Haji is of Somalian descent.
In January 2008, Windsor Police issued a $5,000 reward for Hagi’s arrest. On Aug. 5, that amount was increased to $10,000.
Information on Hagi has been sent to police forces across North America and to Interpol for international distribution.
“In spite of these efforts, HAGI remains at large,” Windsor Police say.
“It is believed, based on recent information, that Hagi is still in Ontario and travels by vehicle between the GTA and Southwestern Ontario.”
Drummond said they have reports that Haji has donned the traditional garb of Somali Muslim women, such as hijabs and burkas.
The suspect is described as black, 5’9″, between 160 and 190 lbs. He has the following nicknames: “Uh Oh,” “O.O.” and “Jamal.”
Police say Hagi should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. “Do not approach him. Call 911 immediately,” they said.
People with information are asked to contact the Windsor Police Service Major Crimes Branch at 519?255?6700 ext. 4390, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1?800?222?TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, or text TOR and a message to CRIMES (274637).
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In an ironic twist, Hagi’s older brother — Ahmed Abukar Hagi — is serving time in the Canadian federal prison system for a shooting at the same location. Ahmed Hagi was convicted of attempting to kill a man outside of the Box Office in November 2006.
Police believe that Mohamud Hagi is moving through Canada, possibly shielded from cops by fellow Somali immigrants. They say that Hagi was likely in Toronto in late December, but may have since moved on to other Somali communities within Canada or the United States.