Fourteen people, including a young girl, were shot near downtown Toronto, police in Canada’s biggest city have said.
One person has died, and the young girl was in a critical condition, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said. Mr Saunders said the gunman died after exchanging gunfire with police. He said the shooting was not random and terrorism had not been ruled out and that they are seeking video and photos from people and businesses in Toronto.
Paramedics, firefighters and police converged on the shooting in Toronto’s east end, which has many popular restaurants, cafes and shops.
Police said the gunman had used a handgun. Earlier reports said nine people had been shot. Police tweeted that the shooting occurred in the Danforth and Logan avenues area of Greektown, a busy residential area with restaurants and cafes. Shooting started at 10 pm local time (0200 GMT Monday).
Witnesses said they heard 20 to 30 shots. Toronto councillor Paula Fletcher told CP24 she heard that the gunman was emotionally disturbed.
“It’s not gang related. It looks like someone who is very disturbed,” Ms Fletcher said. Councillor Mary Fragedakis also said she heard the gunman was disturbed. Ms Fletcher said for this to happen in an area where families gather for dinner is a tragedy. Mass shootings are rare in Toronto.
“We were so used to living in a city where these things didn’t happen,” Toronto mayor John Tory said. Toronto is grappling with a sharp rise in gun violence this year. Deaths from gun violence in the city jumped 53 per cent to 26 so far in 2018 from the same period last year, police data last week showed, with the number of shootings rising 13 per cent.
Toronto deployed about 200 police officers from July 20 in response to the recent spate in shootings, which city officials have blamed on gang violence. Tory told reporters that the city has a gun problem and guns were too readily available to too many people.”But there are things that happen nowadays and they are just unspeakable.
Source; The Irish Independent