A woman was killed and 13 others injured in a shooting in Toronto on Sunday night, CNN informs. The shooting victims are being treated for their injuries and their conditions were not immediately known – with one of the victims, a young girl, in critical condition, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters.
According to the Toronto Police, it’s not yet clear what motivated the shooter, as officials are investigating “every possible motive, including terrorism.” Toronto Mayor John Tory called on the public to not draw any conclusions yet and let police investigate the shooting.
“On behalf of all Toronto residents, I am outraged that someone has unleashed such a terrible attack on our city and people innocently enjoying a Sunday evening,” Tory stressed.
The shooter died from an apparent gunshot wound, but it’s not clear if it was self-inflicted or as a result of exchanging gunfire with police, Saunders said. Witnesses described a man dressed in black, with a black hat, firing about 20 shots in the area, and the scene extended over several blocks, roughly between Chester and Logan Aves, Toronto Star writes.
A witness who was standing near the scene told CNN partner CTV that he heard about 20 shots and the sound of the weapon being reloaded repeatedly.
“And then, I saw the carnage as I ran down the street here to kind of follow the gunfire. I saw at least four people shot,” the man told the station, described the scene as “pretty crazy.”
Another witness, Jody Steinhauer, had been dining with her family at Christina’s, a Greek restaurant, when she heard what she thought was the sound of firecrackers. Then she was told to run to the back of the restaurant. “We started to hear people scream out front,” Steinhauer told CBC.
Michael Kozaris was working inside Mezes restaurant, on the north side of Danforth and west of Logan, when he heard “pops.”
“I thought maybe fireworks, but the restaurant is noisy so I don’t think too much. But after the 10th shot, I think, ‘OK, something’s happening,’ and I see people at the patio jump up. A co-worker says, ‘It’s not bullets’ and goes outside to check and is standing there. We can hear shots but we can’t see anything,” Kozaris told the Toronto Star.
On Friday, the city started a program to put 200 more officers on the streets of at-risk neighborhoods between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. to combat gang violence, according to CTV, but it’s not clear if Greektown was included in that program.
Reporting the announcement of the program earlier this month, CTV reported that by July 8 there had been more than 200 shootings in Toronto and 26 fatalities. It said that by the same time the previous year there had been 188 shootings — resulting in 17 deaths.
In total, CAN $15 million ($11.4 million) had been set aside for efforts at curbing gun violence in Toronto, with some money going to community programs aimed at stopping youth joining gangs, CTV quoted Tory as saying.