Toronto Shooting Leaves One Dead and 13 Injured, Police Say

Fourteen people were shot in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood on Sunday night. “When you have this many people that are struck by gunfire, it’s a grave concern,” said Chief Mark Saunders of the Toronto Police Service.CreditChris Helgren/Reuters

By Sarah Mervosh, Matt Stevens and Jason M. Bailey

A woman was killed and 13 other people were injured after a man with a handgun opened fire on a bustling avenue in Toronto on Sunday night, the police said.

The gunman, who was not identified, died apparently of gunshot wounds, Chief Mark Saunders of the Toronto Police Service said early Monday. He said that after his officers arrived, there was an exchange of gunfire.

Chief Saunders said a girl, around 8 years old, was in critical condition. He did not detail the severity of the other injuries.

The authorities said they had not identified a motive and the chief said he would not rule out terrorism. The police were seeking information from witnesses and the public.

“When you have this many people that are struck by gunfire, it’s a grave concern,” he said. “I’m not closing any doors.”

John Tory, the mayor of Toronto, posted a statement on Twitter condemning the shooting as “despicable.”

“While our city will always be resilient in the face of such attacks, it does not mean such a cowardly act committed against our residents is any less painful — this is an attack against innocent families and our entire city,” he said.

There was an exchange of gunfire after the police arrived. A local bartender said his restaurant initially thought it was fireworks.CreditFrank Gunn/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

The Toronto police were called to the corner of Danforth and Logan Avenues, in the city’s Greektown neighborhood, around 10 p.m. Sunday, Mark Pugash, a police spokesman, said.

Andreas Papadopoulos, a bartender at the Greek restaurant Mezes, said the staff initially thought there were fireworks. But a co-worker who went outside to investigate was quickly caught in gunfire. Another co-worker who pulled the person back inside, Mr. Papadopoulos said, was shot in the hand and taken to a hospital.

“There was a whole bunch of commotion,” he said. “There is lots of blood here.”

Restaurants along Danforth Avenue were locked down after the mass shooting.

“The world is definitely in flux, and I don’t care where you live, you’re not safe anywhere anymore,” said John Klianis, who was working at Pappas Grill when he heard gunfire.

Media reports said about 20 shots had been fired in the area.

Gun violence is much rarer in Canada than it is in the United States. But the number of shootings in Toronto has doubled in recent years, according to data from the Toronto Police Service. The city had 177 shootings in 2014 and 395 in 2017, and is on pace to surpass that mark this year.

In April, 10 people were killed in Toronto when the driver of a rental van struck dozens of pedestrians on a sidewalk. The man accused of driving the van, Alek Minassian, had posted a message hostile to women online only moments before the rampage began, the police said.

Last year, Canada was shaken by a shooting at a mosque in Quebec that left six dead and eight others wounded in what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quickly labeled a “terrorist attack on Muslims.”

“We have a gun problem,” Mr. Tory said at Monday’s news conference.

“It’s almost inconceivable that these things can happen,” he said. “It’s a tragedy any which way you look at it.”

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