One dead, seven injured after Toronto mall shooting11:13 pm - 06/02/2012
A 25-year-old male was killed and seven other people were injured in Toronto Saturday evening during what the city's police chief called a "wanton and incredibly dangerous" shooting at the Eaton Centre shopping mall.
The eight victims -- four female and four male -- include one 13-year-old boy who sustained a gunshot wound and is in critical condition, reported police.
Const. Victor Kwong told reporters that one pregnant female who was knocked down in the rush was taken to hospital after going into labour.
The other victims include two males and two females with gunshot wounds who are all in serious condition. One female was also taken to hospital with minor "grazing" injuries.
Police have yet to apprehend a suspect.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said Saturday night that detectives "will be relentless in our pursuit of the individual or individuals who are responsible for this violence."
Blair told reporters at the scene that "this shooting was not only wanton and incredibly dangerous, but also reckless as to the safety of others."
Blair said police have a description of the suspect, which detectives will "eventually" release.
Blair said officers would spend the night gathering evidence, such as security camera footage from the mall, as well as witness statements.
Mayor Rob Ford arrived at the mall just after 9 p.m. and told reporters that the death of the young 25-year-old is "a tragedy."
Ford also said his thoughts are with the families of the victims.
"Our prayers are with them and hopefully they will pull through. This incident tonight is absolutely terrible, and I'm down here just to offer my support to the police," Ford told reporters.
Ford said news that a teenager had been shot "really pulls on my heartstrings."
He added: "It just rips me apart."
Ford also told reporters he wants to see an arrest made quickly.
"We want to make sure these people are apprehended and arrested, whoever committed this terrible crime."
Police, firefighters and paramedics swarmed the busy shopping mall Saturday evening after they received a report of a shooting around 6:23 p.m.
Video from the scene showed paramedics attending to what appeared to be a victim inside the mall. Paramedics were also seen rushing a male on a stretcher into an ambulance.
The mall, located in the heart of downtown Toronto, was completely shut down and evacuated.
Police quickly sealed off several surrounding intersections. It was unclear late Saturday when the mall would re-open.
Photos from the scene showed shoppers flooding out of the mall into the downtown streets, which are among the busiest in the city.
CP24 reporter Jackie Crandles was able enter the mall minutes before it was closed.
Crandles said she heard police and security "running around the mall yelling at people to get out of the mall, that the shooter was still inside, and that unless they wanted to get shot, they should leave."
Every available officer from the nearby 52 Division was called to the mall to assist, said Crandles.
Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie tweeted about the incident Saturday.
Lawrie tweeted that he was "pretty sure someone just let off a round (of) bullets in eaton center mall" and that he "just sprinted out of the mall."
The TTC said subway trains were bypassing Queen and Dundas stations.
The mall is a popular tourist destination, with more than 280 stores and restaurants. More than 50 million people walk through its doors annually.
Saturday's violence was reminiscent of another deadly shooting in the area that claimed the life of 15-year-old Jane Creba. Gunfire broke out between rival gangs on Yonge St., just north of the mall, on Boxing Day in 2005.
Blair said Saturday that the most recent shooting brought him back to that day.
"I stood on Yonge Street on Boxing Day in 2005 and I am very sadly reminded of that," Blair said. "That was one of the most tragic and shocking events that ever took place in Toronto, and I think today certainly harkens back to that terrible moment. This is a very serious thing that has happened in a very public place, an important place, in the city of Toronto."
Blair asked that any witnesses to the shooting call police at 52 Division, at 416-808-5200.