Toronto shooting: Gunman, 2 civilians killed as 15 people 'struck by gunfire'

 Toronto shooting: Gunman, 2 civilians killed as 15 people 'struck by gunfire'
Copyright REUTERS/Chris Helgren
By Alex Johnson and Yuliya Talmazan with NBC News World News
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Authorities said an unknown number of people were also still being treated at the scene. No further details were immediately available.


Two people were killed after a gunman opened fire while walking down a busy street in Toronto on Sunday night.

Fourteen people plus the shooter were struck in what police described as an "exchange of gunfire." The culprit was later also confirmed dead.

The shooting was reported at about 10 p.m. ET in the Greektown neighborhood of Canada's largest city.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said 15 people in total, including the gunman, were "struck by gunfire."

Saunders said he wouldn't "get into the minutiae of the investigation," leaving unclear how many people were shot by the gunman and how many may have been struck by crossfire or ricocheting bullets.

The agency that investigates police-involved shootings said Monday morning the suspect was a 29-year-old man who had fired shots at groups of people several times while walking along Danforth Avenue.

An "exchange of fire" took place after officers located him, officials said. He was subsequently found dead nearby.

"I know that it could have been worse," Saunders said.

Police said the the shooter was armed with a handgun.

Saunders said the act was not random, but added that investigators were not ruling anything out, including terrorism.

The ages and sexes of most of the victims were not immediately released.

Greektown is centered on Danforth Avenue, one of Toronto's busiest thoroughfares. It features many restaurants, as well as housing on its side streets.

Stavy Karnouskou told the Toronto Star she was standing with a few friends outside a bar and “heard ‘pop, pop,'" adding: "I turned because I thought it was fireworks … and then the mother of a friend of mine goes, ‘They’re shooting at us — run inside!’”

Another witness, John Tulloch, told the Star he and his brother had just got out of their car when he heard somewhere between 20 and 30 gunshots.

“We just ran,” he said.

Kerri Lahey told the CBC she was eating dinner with her boyfriend at a restaurant when he saw the gunman enter through a side door and shoot a woman.

Mayor John Tory urged residents to remain calm. "I'm angry when these kinds of things happen in the city — a lot of people will be angry," he said.

He added that "there are too many people carrying around guns" and that "guns are too readily available to too many people.”


Tory said the city is still reeling after 10 people were killed and 15 injured when a van struck pedestrians at a busy intersection in April. The driver was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.

“It is almost inconceivable these things can happen,” the mayor said. “We were so used to living in a city where these things didn’t happen.”

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