Two people are dead and 12 others injured, including a child, after a gunman opened fire outside a restaurant in the Canadian city of Toronto.
The shooting happened just after 10pm Sunday (3am UK time), in the Greektown area in Toronto’s east end, a popular area with restaurants, cafes and shops.
Police said the gunman died after an exchange of fire with officers in Bowden Street, after which he fled.
He was found dead on Danforth Avenue. Officers from the city’s special investigations unit believe he was 29 years old.
A nine-year-old girl is reported to be in a critical condition.
Witnesses told the Toronto Star that a man had fired a gun multiple times, some estimating that he fired up to 20 shots.
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.
Shortly after the shooting, Police Chief Mark Saunders said it was not random and he did not rule out terrorism as a motive.
“Other than the shooter, we have a young lady that is deceased right now, and we have a young girl – I believe eight or nine years old – that is in critical,” he said.
“We are looking at all possible motives… and not closing any doors.”
The gunman died after an exchange of gunfire with police, officials said. It is not clear if he shot himself.
The injured have been taken to various hospitals and an unconfirmed number of people are being treated at the scene.
Several blocks have been 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, who was 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.”
This is a tragedy and on behalf of all Toronto residents, we are extending our prayers to all the innocent people attacked tonight, their families and their friends.
— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) July 23, 2018
The 19-year-old said the shooter stood outside on the sidewalk, but didn’t 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 increased their numbers in the city to tackle a recent increase in recent gun violence.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said: “We were so use 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.”
Police are seeking information including videos and pictures from people who live and work in the area.
The mass shooting also comes a few months after a man drove a van into pedestrians on a Toronto sidewalk, 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.
From – SkyNews