A mass shooting in Toronto has left two dead and thirteen injured. A 9-year-old girl was left in critical condition, and at least thirteen people were struck by bullets Sunday night when a man fired shots at groups of people in the city’s Greektown neighborhood.
The gunman, identified only as a 29-year-old, opened fire on Danforth Avenue, shooting between 15 and 20 rounds during the spree. At least nine were hospitalized. The gunman was found dead in a nearby alley after exchanging gunfire with police, but it is unclear if he killed himself or died as a result of the exchange. Terrorism is not being ruled out as a motive. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said the authorities were investigating every possible motive. Investigators in the city’s forensic, homicide, guns and gangs, and victim service units have remained on the scene in addition to the Toronto Police canine unit.
Authorities received a call shortly after 10PM on Sunday, July 22nd, about the incident in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood. The area is a lively residential neighborhood with crowded restaurants and cafes. Witnesses reported hearing shots and described the suspect walking past restaurants, cafes, and patios on both sides of the street, firing into them. Mayor John Tory said the attack is “evidence of a gun problem” in Toronto, and that “Guns are too readily available to too many people.” A Toronto Councilor said the shooting was “not gang related.” He continued, saying, “It looks like someone who is very disturbed.”
All surviving victims are in serious and critical condition. A 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman were pronounced dead on the scene, but their identities have yet to be released. Over the past weekend, Toronto police deployed dozens of additional officers to deal with a recent spike in gun violence in the city. This shooting comes a few months after the driver of a van plowed into pedestrians on a Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people and injuring 14.