image image

Canada

Toronto gunman kills girl and teenager, wounds 13 before dying after police shoot-out

Video shows attacker draw handgun and shoot at groups of people in the city’s Greektown neighbourhood

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 July, 2018, 11:50am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 July, 2018, 3:51am

A 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman were killed in the mass shooting in Toronto’s bustling Greektown neighbourhood on Sunday night, the city’s police chief said on Monday.

Chief Mark Saunders said 13 other victims had injuries ranging from minor to serious. They range in age from 10 to 59.

The gunman, 29, was found dead in an alley after an exchange of gunfire with police. Saunders declined to release his name and said authorities “do not know why this has happened yet.”

A video clip posted by Canadian media showed a man in dark clothes walking on the pavement in Greektown and then turning to aim and fire a handgun.

“At approximately 10pm on July 22, 2018, a man walking along Danforth Avenue fired shots at groups of people several times. Several people were struck. Two civilians were fatally injured,” the Ontario Special Investigations Unit said.

The unit, which investigates police-involved shootings, said officers found the man on a nearby road “and an exchange of gunfire took place”.

“The man fled the area and was located deceased on Danforth Avenue,” it said.

Officers, some armed with rifles, sealed off Danforth Avenue, Greektown’s main street, after getting the call around 10pm. Witnesses reported hearing about 20 shots.

“There was a lot of shots. It would shoot, there’d be a pause, we heard more shooting, and then a pause and then more shooting,” John Tulloch, who was out for a walk at the time, told The Globe and Mail.

“There must’ve been 20, 30 shots, altogether. It was a lot. We just ran.”

Jody Steinhauer told CBC News she was at a neighbourhood restaurant with her family when she heard what sounded like 10 to 15 blasts of firecrackers.

She said she was told to run to the back of the restaurant.

“We started to hear people scream out front,” Steinhauer told the broadcaster.

Ontario’s new premier, Doug Ford, called it a “horrific act of gun violence” and said his heart went out to the victims.

The incident came at a time when Canada’s largest metropolis is concerned about a surge of shootings. Canada traditionally has relatively low levels of gun violence – especially compared with its neighbour, the United States.

Mayor John Tory said the violence was “evidence of a gun problem” in Toronto.

“Guns are too readily available to too many people,” Tory told a news conference, adding that details of the latest incident remained sketchy and urged people to stay calm.

“We have to figure out what happened here. We don’t know,” he said.

Toronto police statistics show that up until July 14, there were 220 shootings with 27 fatalities so far this year, compared with 196 shootings with 17 deaths for the whole of 2017.

Last week, Toronto police started implementing the enforcement component of their “gun violence reduction plan.” That includes around 200 additional officers on shift in particular neighbourhoods between the hours of 7pm and 3am – when most shootings occur.

The Greektown shooting happened about three months after the city was shaken by the killing of 10 people by a man with an apparent grudge against women who drove into them on a busy street in Toronto’s north end.