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Two Dead, Several Injured in Toronto After Shooting at Drake’s Afterparty

It's the second shooting at Drake's OVO Fest afterparty in two years.

by Arthur White
Aug 4 2015, 4:30pm

Photo by Josh Visser

A version of this article originally appeared on VICE Canada.

A festival afterparty in Toronto hosted by Drake ended in a shootout early Tuesday morning, killing two and wounding three. It is not known whether or not Drake was still at the party when the shooting occurred.

This is the second consecutive year that gunfire has broken out at a party after the OVO Fest at Muzik nightclub, on the Canadian National Exhibition grounds. Drake was also the host of last year's event, where two people were injured in another early morning shooting.

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 in the hospital.

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. 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.

The two deceased victims were in their 20s and 30s, according to police. At least one of the three others who were injured 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 Canadian office is about 400 meters 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.