Crime scene tape blocks off part of Dufferin Street—one of several sites being investigated by Toronto police. Photo by Josh Visser
A festival afterparty hosted by Drake ended in a shootout early Tuesday morning, killing two.
This is the second consecutive year that gunfire has broken out after the OVO Fest afterparty at Muzik nightclub, at Exhibition Place. Drake was also the host of last year's event, when two people were injured in a shooting in the early morning of August 4.
This year, police told reporters, shots broke out at about 3:15 AM. The violence began inside the club, where one man was pronounced dead at the scene, before spilling out into the streets, where a woman was critically injured, later dying en route to hospital.
An officer at the scene told VICE that the woman who died was given CPR on Dufferin Street by a police officer near where a lone bike could be visible lying on the sidewalk Tuesday morning.
Deputy Police Chief Peter Sloly told a press conference that the incident comes in the midst of a spike in gun violence in Toronto, and police were already taking precautions. There was a "large visible police presence" when the shooting began, according to Sloly, and officers "were running toward live fire incidents" as the violence spread north and south of the nightclub. Sloly confirmed one officer performed CPR on the woman who died.
"Despite the [police] presence, armed offenders took out firearms and started shooting inside the venue... packed with hundreds of innocent people," said Sloly. "Obviously we have a brazen set of individuals who are armed and willing to use those firearms in crowded areas and put innocent lives at risk."
Sloly said that police don't know how the weapon or weapons got into the club. "General procedure" would see private security agents pat down partygoers, he said. There is also no information yet released about whether Drake was present at the time of the shooting.
The two victims were in their 20s and 30s, according to police. Three others were injured in the attack, two seriously. At least one of them was an innocent bystander with no involvement in the dispute, according to Sloly.
"We were very lucky that there was not a larger body count," Sloly said.
Police have not released any information on the number of suspects or their identities, and the area around the club remains cordoned off while they investigate three separate crime scenes.
One of the crime scenes is directly in front of VICE Canada's Dufferin Street office, which police cordoned off, not allowing employees to enter. VICE's office is about 400 metres from Muzik.
In the first seven months of the year, 143 shootings have taken place in Toronto, up from 103 the year before. That makes 2015 the most violent year since 2012, when 153 shootings were recorded by the end of July.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said that he was "saddened and angered by these senseless shootings."
"I am very confident our Toronto Police Service will track down those responsible for this despicable act and ensure they are put away for a long time," he said in a statement.