73-year-old shot dead five neighbors in Toronto: police

By: AFP
Published: 11:17 PM, 19 Dec, 2022
73-year-old shot dead five neighbors in Toronto: police
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A 73-year-old man killed five people and wounded another Sunday night in a shooting at an apartment building in the suburbs of the Canadian city of Toronto, police said.

The suspect, whom authorities have not named but said was a resident of the building in Vaughan, Ontario, was later shot dead by law enforcement responding to emergency calls.

Police were called to the site about 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Toronto at approximately 7:20 pm (0020 GMT) local time.

Kristy Denette, a spokeswoman for Ontario's Special Investigative Unit, which is called in to investigate whenever an officer discharges a firearm, said "one officer fired at the man and he was killed" in a hallway.

At 8:00 pm, the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, and a semi-automatic handgun was recovered by police, she said.

"There was multiple deceased (victims) located on several floors" of the building, she added.

The injured person was taken to the hospital in serious condition, according to a statement, but their life is not in danger.

Earlier, local police chief Jim MacSween told reporters that when officers arrived at the apartment building, "they were met with... a horrendous scene where numerous victims were deceased."

"They (police) went right into the building and dealt with the situation. One of our officers did discharge a firearm, I can confirm that. And as a result the suspect is deceased," he added.

Police are investigating the motive and whether there was a specific connection between the victims and the suspect, who allegedly acted alone.

Vaughan mayor Steven Del Duca said Monday morning that it was an "unspeakable" and "horrible tragedy."

"People are just in absolute shock," he added. "This is something that I never thought I would see here... especially just a few days before Christmas (and) at the start of Hanukkah."

Federal public safety minister, Marco Mendicino, tweeted: "My thoughts are with the loved ones of those killed in Sunday night's tragic shooting in Vaughan."

While it suffers far fewer mass shootings than its American neighbor, Canada has experienced an upsurge in gun violence, which has prompted it to recently legislate to ban handguns.

In April 2020, a gunman disguised as a policeman killed 22 people in the eastern province of Nova Scotia, Canada's worst mass shooting.

In September this year, a man killed 11 people and stabbed 18 others, mainly in an isolated Indigenous community in Saskatchewan province.

Firearms-related violent crimes account for less than three percent of all violent crimes in Canada -- but since 2009 the per capita rate of guns being fired with intent to kill or wound has increased fivefold.

Canada banned 1,500 types of military-grade or assault-style firearms in May 2020, days after the Nova Scotia shooting.

Parliament is currently considering adding more weapons to its prohibited weapons list, but the ruling Liberals have faced some pushback from hunters and sports shooters.

Categories : World
AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.