Update: according to NBC, a second victim has died following Toronto mass shooting, police say.
Fourteen people, including a young girl, were shot after a gunman opened fire as he walked along a Toronto street, killing one before dying after an exchange of gunfire with police at 10pm on Sunday, police said.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said the shooting in the city’s Greektown neighborhood was not random and he did not rule out terrorism as a motive.
“Other than the shooter we have a young lady that is deceased,” the police chief said. Saunders also said a 9-year-old was in critical condition.
A video from one witness shows a man dressed in black clothes and a black hat walking quickly down Danforth avenue and firing three shots from the sidewalk into at least one shop or restaurant. Toronto’s Greektown is a lively residential area with crowded Greek restaurants and cafes.
Witness footage of the shooter walking to a store front and opening fire. 9 ppl are injured, unclear how many dead. Police say shooter is dead. #danforthshooting pic.twitter.com/dbo280RmFE
— Natalie Nanowski (@Natalie_SKi) July 23, 2018
Witnesses said they heard 25 gunshots, CityNews.com reported.
The condition of the other victims was not known yet, police spokesman Mark Pugash said.
Witnesses heard many shots and described the suspect walking past restaurants and cafes and patios on both sides of the street and firing into them.
John Tulloch said he and his brother had just gotten out of their car when he heard about 20 to 30 gunshots.
“We just ran. We saw people starting to run so we just ran,” he said.
Toronto has been grappling with a sharp rise in violence this year. Deaths from gun violence in the city jumped 53 percent to 26 so far in 2018 from the same period last year, police data last week showed, with the number of shootings rising 13 percent.
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.
Mayor John Tory urged residents to remain calm. “I’m angry when these kinds of things happen in the city — a lot of people will be angry,” he said. He added that “there are too many people carrying around guns” and that “guns are too readily available to too many people.”
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.
— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) July 23, 2018
Tory said the city is still reeling after 10 people were killed and 15 injured when a van struck pedestrians at a busy intersection in April. The driver was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.
“It is almost inconceivable these things can happen,” the mayor said. “We were so used to living in a city where these things didn’t happen.”
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