Sources say Matt Rodgers, acquitted in 2001 of charges related to fatal crash, left with life-threatening injuries

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A London man with a criminal record and suspected association with motorcycle gangs has been identified by several sources as the victim in an Oakville shooting Friday morning.

Matt Rodgers is the 35-year-old taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, three separate, independent sources told The Free Press.

Halton Regional police did not release the victim’s name and The Free Press could not reach Rodgers’ family.

Halton police say they were called to a report about a shooting near Cornwall and Trafalgar roads beside a plaza about 9:30 a.m., and found a 35-year-old man had been shot.

Halton paramedics told The Free Press the man suffered life-threatening injuries.

Three men fled on foot after the shooting, police said.

One was arrested nearby, and a black pickup truck involved in the shooting was also recovered, police said

One witness told Toronto news outlet CP 24 that two men in hoodies with bandanas across their faces were looking into people’s cars outside the Sunset Grill on Cornwall Road.

Another witness told the news station a man left the restaurant and got involved in some kind of dispute, when someone pulled a gun and started shooting.

The first suspect wanted by police is described as a black male, about six feet tall and weighing 200 pounds with a slim build. He was wearing dark pants and a dark shirt.

The second suspect is described as a black male about five feet, nine inches tall, with his hair in tight cornrows and possibly wearing white shorts.

Rodgers may be remembered most by Londoners as the 19-year-old acquitted in 2001 on charges of failing to remain at the scene of a traffic accident the year before that fatally injured Yaphet Robinson.

The case became a cause celebre over racism in London, although a judge ruled that wasn’t a factor.

In 2002, a Matthew Rodgers, 21 was charged with assault after a melee among several men in a north London parking lot.

That same year, a man by the same name and age, was arrested by U.S. police after crossing the border with a companion holding fake identification and towing a stolen boat.

At the time, a U.S. indictment quoted a source saying Rodgers was an associate of an outlaw motorcycle gang.

He was turned over to Gananoque OPP and charged with breach of probation.

Eight years later, Rodgers, 28, was in the news again, charged with eight counts of possession of property obtained by crime and four counts of fraud over $5,000.

OPP and Toronto and London police said two men were buying wrecked vehicles from salvage yards then rebuilding them and fitting them with stolen or improper VINS (vehicle identification numbers). The vehicles were then sold.

During an investigation that spanned several months, police recovered eight high-end SUVs and one Harley Davidson motorcycle, with a total value of $270,000.

With files from Free Press reporter Dale Carruthers 

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