Two men who were fatally shot in Chinatown on Sunday might have been targeted but aren't believed to be part of a street gang, Toronto police said Tuesday.
Quinn Taylor, 29, and David Michael Eminess, 26, were killed and three others were sent to hospital after gunfire broke out near Spadina Avenue and Nassau Street at around 3:18 a.m. Sunday.
The deaths are the city's eight and ninth homicides of the year.
"I want to make it perfectly clear. I have no information at this time that would indicate that either one of these two individuals are part of or affiliated with any street gang," Staff Inspector Greg McLane said at a news conference Tuesday when asked by reporters about a possible gang connection.
McLane painted several scenarios that might have led to the shootings.
"One possibility, and I've seen it before, is where there's been some altercation," he said.
"Words spoken, an unintentional bump. I'm not saying that's what it is, but it's entirely possible. The shooter has jumped from zero to 1,000, there's very low tolerance, he's pulled his weapon and killed these two young men."
McLane said eight of the 10 homicides in January were firearms-related, adding that there have been "an average 4.7 homicides every January over the last 12 years."
MacLane called Sunday's shootings "a bit of an anomaly."
"It's important for the public to know that this type of event where we have discharging of weapons in large groups of people – it happens from time to time but it's not the norm," he said.
McLane pleaded for eyewitnesses to come forward.
"There are people out there who know what happened to these young men, and I'll go so far as to say who did it. We want to hear from these people."
McLane said investigators are poring over security video footage from stores in the area and expects police to release a description of the suspect.