Fire at tow yard came day before shooting

Police in London are investigating whether the fire at the compound of an East End towing company is linked to a shooting involving two tow trucks over the weekend.

Firefighters were called to the trailer yard on Clark Road, south of Gore Road, about 6.15am on Friday. Firefighters were able to put out the flames relatively quickly. No one was injured, but several pieces of traction equipment were damaged.

“The fire is considered suspicious in nature and the investigation has been assigned to members of the Metropolitan Police Street Crime Unit, with the assistance of the London Fire Service,” Met Police said in a statement on Monday.

A day after the fire, a tow truck operator was driving south on Adelaide Street when he spotted another company’s tow truck following him. After passing Osgood Avenue, a man in the opposing trailer fired six shots with a pistol at the other trailer — five shots hitting the tailgate and one through the rear window. Everyone is safe and sound.

Police were able to track down the suspect in Oakville after gathering evidence and a description of the trailer after they were called.

Ali Banga, 25, and Blake St Denis, 21, both from London, were jointly charged with possession of a motor vehicle with a firearm, reckless firing with intent to cause harm, and possession of Restricted or prohibited firearms, knowingly not holding a firearms license.

Banga was also charged with violating probation and two counts of violating the prohibition on possession of a firearm or ammunition. Saint Denis also faces charges of failing to comply with a release order and failing to stop for police. The pair were scheduled to appear in court on Sunday on the charges.

Police have confirmed they are investigating whether the two incidents are linked, but no decisions have been made.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police at 519-661-5670 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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