This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
A ten-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman were killed and 12 others injured after a lone man opened fire on a busy stretch of the Danforth, a residential neighborhood in Toronto’s east end, late Sunday night. The gunman, a 29-year-old man, also died at the scene after an exchange of gunfire with the police.
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said the man is from Toronto, but they would not be releasing the man's name. A SIU spokesperson said the gunman suffered a single gunshot wound, but would not confirm if it was self-inflicted or from the exchange of gunfire with Toronto police.
Two officers exchanged gunfire with the shooter on Bowden Street before he fled and was found dead somewhere along Danforth Avenue, the SIU said.
Police said they looking to obtain a warrant to search his residence.
St. Michael’s Hospital admitted five gunshot wound victims, all in serious or critical conditions. Officials, at a Monday morning press conference, said three immediately underwent “life-saving surgeries.”
The victims, ranged from age ten to 59, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters Monday afternoon. There were eight females and seven men shot.
The shooting lasted about 15 seconds, according to the Globe and Mail. A witness video published to social media appears to show a man wearing all black walking along Danforth Avenue, near Logan, before pivoting, pointing a gun and shooting into a crowded restaurant.
It is so far unclear how the shooter died. He died after fleeing the scene and exchanging gunfire with police on a nearby street. Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has assigned six investigators and three forensic investigators to the case.
Police Chief Saunders has confirmed the shooter used a handgun, but officials have yet to release the man’s identity or speculate on the shooter’s motive. “I’m not calling it random. This person was here, and he definitely shot, I don’t know why he did what he did,” Saunders told reporters at an on-scene press conference last night.
Toronto Mayor John Tory described the event as “inconceivable” and has asked people to not draw conclusions about what may have happened and to “allow police to do their job.”
“Our entire city has been shocked by this cowardly act of violence. As I said earlier this morning at the scene, I’m, of course, angry as we all are that someone would carry out such an attack, which really amounts to an attack on our city itself,” Tory told city council. “The gun violence in any part of our city is horrible and completely unacceptable.”
The mayor also addressed the ascending rate of gun violence in Toronto, which has risen to over 220 gun-related incidents since the beginning of 2018: “We have a gun problem, guns are too readily available to too many people,” he said. “We need to address that.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford addressed the shooting shortly after it happened, late Sunday night: “My heart goes out to the victims and loved ones of the horrific act of gun violence in Toronto. Thank you to all the first responders for acting quickly to help everyone affected.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also tweeted a statement in support of victims Monday morning, writing: “My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible tragedy on the Danforth last night in Toronto, and may the injured make a full recovery. The people of Toronto are strong, resilient, and brave—and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.”
The mass shooting falls on the heels of an attack in April, when a man deliberately drove a van into a crowd of pedestrians in North York, killing ten people.
The scene of the incident, Danforth and Logan, is in Toronto’s Greektown and is a frequently busy residential neighborhood. Danforth Avenue is lined with busy restaurants and bars with patios that are very popular during the summer months.
This story will be updated as we learn more.
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