A gunman opened fire on a Toronto street filled with restaurants late on Sunday, killing two people and injuring 12 others, including a young girl, authorities said. The suspected shooter was later found dead. The girl was in a critical condition, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said. “We are looking at all possible motives … and not closing any doors,” Saunders told reporters at the site of the shooting.
Paramedics, firefighters and police converged on the scene in Toronto’s east end, which has many popular restaurants, cafes and shops. Police said the gunman used a handgun. Earlier reports said nine people had been shot. The gunman, a 29-year-old man, exchanged fire with police, fled and was later found deceased, local media reported.
Reports of gunfire in the city’s Greektown neighborhood began at 10 p.m. local time (0200 GMT Monday), CityNews.com said. Witnesses said they heard 25 gunshots, the news website reported. Toronto is grappling with a sharp rise in gun violence this year. Deaths from gun violence has jumped 53 percent to 26 so far in 2018 from the same period last year, police data last week showed, with the number of shootings rising 13 percent.
Toronto has deployed about 200 police officers since July 20 in response to the recent spate in shootings, which city officials have blamed on gang violence. Toronto Mayor John Tory told reporters the city has a gun problem, with weapons too readily available to too many people.