At least two people were killed and another dozen injured after a lone gunman went on a shooting spree Sunday night along a busy Toronto street.
Toronto police said the gunman, identified only as a 29-year-old man, is also dead. It was unclear early Monday if he was shot during a gun battle with police or took his own life, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported.
Police said one of the people killed is a woman. A girl reported as eight or nine years old was in critical condition, according to Toronto’s City News.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said no motive is known for the shooting, CNN reported.
“I’m not calling it random. This person was here and he definitely shot. I don’t know why he did what he did,” he said.
“Police have not drawn any conclusions about what happened here or why,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory, according to The Washington Post. Officials, who have not ruled out terrorism as a motive, said the black-clad gunman used a handgun during his attack. Witnesses described him as white and in his 20s or 30s.
The carnage began shortly after 10 p.m. along Danforth Avenue in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood.
Andrew Mantzios said he saw the gunman after the first shots were fired.
“He had this horrible expression on his face,” he said, adding that he watched the gunman point his gun at some pedestrians and then fire it.
“And then a lady tried to run and she fell down,” Mantzios recalled. “He turned around and shot her point blank, two or three times.”
The gunman then began shooting into businesses that lined the street, walking back and forth across the street.
People were “falling all over the place – maybe seven, eight, nine of them,” he said.
Jessica Young, who was at the Second Cup, said panic soon followed the gunfire.
“I heard a loud pop sound,” she said. “Three of the customers that were sitting outside just started scrambling and saying ‘get down.’”
Young said the gunman fired in her direction, but no one in the restaurant was hit.
The moment the gunman fires into a restaurant in Toronto.
One person was killed and 14 people were injured in the mass shooting.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 23, 2018
Witness Jody Steinhauer said at first she thought the gunfire was fireworks going off.
“And then immediately, within seconds, somebody yelled ‘get down,’” she said. “We just got all of the kids and everybody to the back of the restaurant, under tables. Everything just happened so fast, it was frightening.”
She said he boyfriend helped rescue one victim.
“We heard a scream and one of the victims was shot right outside, and he went out and helped her with one of the people from the restaurant and carried her into the restaurant,” she said.
“She was screaming and then we tried to call 911 but the circuits were down so we got on Twitter and reached out to (the media) to let everybody know what was going on and that we needed help immediately,” she said.
Toronto has been grappling with a wave of gang-related shootings. As of last week, Toronto had recorded 220 shootings, which put the city on track for a new record.
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