Toronto shooting: Gunman, woman killed as 15 people ‘struck by gunfire’

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Canada Toronto Shooting_1532343304646

Police work the scene of a shooting in Toronto on Sunday, July 22, 2018. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (NBC) —   A woman was killed and a girl aged about 10 was critically injured after a gunman opened fire 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 pronounced dead at the scene.

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.”

He 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.

     

“I know that it could have been worse,” said Saunders, adding the culprit was armed with a handgun.

He said he couldn’t speak to any motive so early in the investigation, but added the act was not random.

Saunders said police were not ruling anything out, including terrorism.

No other details of the shooting were immediately available, including the ages and sexes of most of the victims.

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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