Toronto shooting: Two dead and 13 critically injured, including a young girl
Two people killed and 13 injured, including a child, in a mass shooting in Toronto Sunday night, the city’s police chief said.
Two people lost their lives, and 13 others were left injured after a gunman went on a shooting spree near a restaurant in Toronto, Canada, on Sunday evening.
After the shooting encounter, the authorities revealed that one of those killed was a woman while the other was the attacker. The mass shooting critically injured a young girl who is currently fighting for her life in a hospital.
At around 10 pm on Sunday, police responded to an emergency call in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood near Danforth and Pape Avenues. Authorities were reported that a shooting had taken place in the vicinity.
The injured civilians were immediately rushed to local hospitals nearby.
According to the paramedics, multiple people were transported to hospitals and trauma centers, with one child be taken to the Hospital for Sick Children.
The officers with law enforcement are yet to determine the shooter's motive, with Toronto police chief Mark Saunders saying they would not speculate before gathering more information on the incident.
Authorities also released a surveillance footage which shows the alleged gunman pulling out a handgun as he walks down the street on Danforth Avenue. The moment he reached the Greektown eatery, he opened fire into the storefront.
According to witnesses, several people had crouched or were on the ground inside Mezes restaurant. At the time, it was not clear if they fell due to an injury or were hiding from the attacker.
At around 10:04 pm, Toronto Fire responded to the scene and summoned additional ambulance support. Following them, Emergency Task Officers arrived and cordoned off several blocks around the scene after securing a perimeter.
Saunders added that the attack did not appear to be random, and it was not immediately clear whether the gunman had been killed by police or had shot himself.
According to media reports, witnesses described the suspect, as a man wearing a black outfit, who fired about 20 rounds during the onslaught. He was allegedly wearing a black ballcap and appeared to be carrying some type of bag.
In a conversation with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), witness Jody Steinhauer said she heard what sounded like 10 to 15 firecrackers going off as she sat with her family at a restaurant near Chester Avenue.
Steinhauer was reportedly instructed to run to the back of the restaurant.
“We started to hear people scream out front,” she said.
A witness, who only gave her name as Mary, said she saw a young girl being placed on a stretcher and taken into an ambulance while she was in the Pantheon restaurant on Danforth Ave.
Another witness, John Tulloch, was getting out of the car with his brother on Danforth when he claims he heard about 20 to 30 rounds going off.
“We just ran. We saw people starting to run, so we just ran,” he said.
The mayor of Toronto, John Tory, called the shooting incident “a despicable act."
“On behalf of all Toronto residents, I am outraged that someone has unleashed such a terrible attack on our city and people innocently enjoying a Sunday evening,” he wrote on Twitter.
“While our city will always be resilient in the face of such attacks, it does not mean such a cowardly act committed against our residents is any less painful – this is an attack against innocent families and our entire city.”
Tory asserted that he had "total confidence" in law enforcement investigators to determine what really happened and urged people not to speculate as there was not enough information at the time. He offered his condolences to families of the victims.
At a press conference held shortly after the incident, he told reporters that the shooting was “evidence of a gun problem” in the Canadian city.
“Guns are too readily available to too many people,” he said.
Both Mayor Tory and Saunders urged witnesses to come forward with any related information that they have. Saunders later revealed that SIU had been notified, at the time, but the focus was on the active investigation that was underway, as the scene was still being secured.
According to the CBC, last week, as part of a plan to reduce gun crime, law enforcement in Toronto deployed 200 additional officers in particular neighborhoods between 7 pm and 3 am.
Authorities are urging anyone with pertinent information or recorded footage of the incident to come forward and get in touch with them.
They also further informed that a package deemed suspicious was currently being examined.
Police loaded several people present at the scene onto city buses in order to take them to local police stations for further information and asked any witnesses who they might have missed out on to call CrimeStoppers.
This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.