Share This On:
(SKY NEWS) – A 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman have died after a gunman opened fire outside a restaurant in Toronto.
Police said 13 people had been injured, some of them seriously. Their ages range from 10 to 59.
Three people underwent immediate operations to save their lives at St Michael’s Hospital, trauma surgeon Dr Najma Ahmed said.
The shooting happened just after 10pm on Sunday (3am UK time), in the Greektown area in Toronto’s east end – a popular area with restaurants, cafes and shops.
Video appeared to show the gunman, dressed in black, walking along the street before stopping and aiming his weapon directly into a shop or restaurant.
Witnesses told the Toronto Star a gun had been fired multiple times, some of them estimating that up to 20 shots had been discharged.
The gunman died after an exchange of fire with officers, police said.
Officers from the city’s special investigations unit believe he was 29 years old.
Police chief Mark Saunders declined to release the gunman’s name, and said the authorities “do not know why this has happened yet”.
He said the investigation was “very fluid” and “very new” and would take “some time”.
Terrorism has not been ruled out as a motive. “We are looking at all possible motives… and not closing any doors,” he said.
The injured were taken to various hospitals while others were treated at the scene.
Several roads were cordoned off.
Toronto councillor Paula Fletcher said the gunman was “disturbed” and the shooting was not gang related.
Jody Steinhauer told CBC News she was at a restaurant with her family when she heard what sounded like 10 to 15 blasts of firecrackers.
She said she was told to run to the back of the restaurant, adding: “We started to hear people scream out front.”
Another witness, identified as Katie, was returning from dinner with friends and driving when she saw the shooter firing what appeared to be a handgun.
“We heard a loud bang and I just looked to my left and I saw a guy in a black hoodie, just standing there, pointing at one of the storefront windows and the glass was just shattered,” she told the Toronto Sun.
“He was firing multiple shots – we heard eight, if not more.”
The 19-year-old said the shooter stood outside on the pavement, but did not appear to be using a rifle.
She said he appeared to be aiming directly into the restaurant.
“It was like he was in a stance – his arms were straight out,” she said.
“It looked like he was firing straight in front of him. It looked very aimed.”
The shooting comes as Toronto police increase their numbers in the city to tackle a recent increase in gun violence.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said: “We were so used to living in a city where these things didn’t happen.
“But there are things that happen nowadays and they are just unspeakable.
“Guns are too readily available to too many people.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave – and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.”
Police are seeking information including videos and pictures from people who live and work in the area.
The mass shooting comes a few months after a man drove a van into pedestrians on a Toronto pavement, killing 10 people and injuring 14.
Authorities have not disclosed a motive. But they have said the arrested driver, Alek Minassian, posted a message on social media referencing a misogynistic online community before the attack.