A man currently locked up in a British Columbia jail is facing two counts of first-degree murder in the brazen shooting deaths of two well-known members of Toronto’s hip-hop scene outside a Queen St. W. nightclub last summer.
The victims were Jahvante Smart, 21, who performed as rapper Smoke Dawg, and Ernest (Kosi) Modekwe, 28, a music brand manager known as Koba Prime.
They were gunned down around 8 p.m. on June 30, 2018, outside a nightclub on Queen St. W. near Peter St. The gunfire sent people in the crowded area running for cover.
Two suspects were seen running north from the area. Toronto police issued Canada-wide warrants for Abdulkadir Handule, now 23, and for a 16-year-old who cannot be identified because of his age.
The pair are also accused of attempted murder for wounding a woman who was in the area at the time.
Burnaby RCMP arrested Handule last month after police responded to calls about a kidnapping in a highrise apartment building just after 10 p.m. on July 4.
When officers entered an 11th-floor unit, three men fled over the balcony, according to an RCMP news release. One man fell to the ground and suffered serious injuries after falling on a bush, Global News reported.
Two other men were arrested on lower floors.
The victim of the alleged kidnapping located safely and was physically unharmed, according to an RCMP news release said.
Handule, Obinna Njoku, 36, and Abdullah Abdullahi, 32, were charged with kidnapping and forcible confinement.
A Toronto police source confirmed Handule is the same man wanted for the killings of Smart and Modekwe.
A Burnaby RCMP spokeswoman was not immediately able to confirm which of the three men fell from the building.
Smart joined Drake on the European leg of his Boy Meets World tour in 2017. After his death, the Toronto megastar released a condolence message on his Instagram page.
“All these gifts and blessed souls and inner lights being extinguished lately is devastating,” he wrote. “I wish peace would wash over our city. So much talent and so many stories we never get to see play out. Rest up Smoke.”
A Smoke Dawg track, “No Discussion,” was released posthumously featuring production by prominent Canadian producer Murda Beatz, whose real name is Shane Lee Lindstrom.
Some of the footage for the song’s music video was filmed in Regent Park, where Smart grew up.
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According to his death notice in the Star, Modekwe was the captain of his high school basketball team who graduated from the University of Toronto graduate with a degree in criminology and political science.
He created his own clothing line and had many interests “but music always filled his heart,” the notice said.