Police have released a description of the man they believe shot a person dead in a brazen targeted attack in broad daylight that sent soccer fans scrambling for safety in Toronto's Little Italy neighbourhood.

Hours after the Monday afternoon shooting on the patio of an ice-cream parlour, Const. Wendy Drummond told reporters that the suspect is a white male with blond hair, who is believed to be six feet tall with a medium build.

Drummond said the suspect, who fled the scene on foot, was wearing a white construction helmet, an orange safety vest and a white filter mask.

A 35-year-old Toronto man suffering from "obvious gunshot wounds" was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. His name is not being released at this time, but police said in a statement they believe the victim was the intended target.

Police said a second man was treated at hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Police were first called to the scene around 3:30 p.m. in the College Street and Ossington Avenue area. Investigators later cordoned off the area around the Sicilian Sidewalk Café on College Street, near Montrose Avenue, where witnesses say the victim was shot dead on the restaurant patio.

'We heard 5 gunshots'

Andrea Dolcetti told CBC News that she was watching the Italy-Ireland soccer game with family and friends when the shots were fired.

"All of a sudden we heard five gunshots," she said.

"It sounded like — first we thought it was broken glass, but then we knew by the fifth one that it wasn't."

The area of Toronto where the shooting occurred is home to many bars and restaurants where patrons were watching Euro 2012 soccer on Monday afternoon — including at the Sicilian Sidewalk Café.

Police said College Street would remain closed between Grace Street and Crawford Avenue as the investigation continued at the scene.

The incident comes just over two weeks after the shooting at the Eaton Centre, which left two men dead and five others injured.

Police have been dealing with an increased number of shootings in Toronto this year compared with last.

Preliminary statistics on the Toronto police website indicate that as of June 18, shooting occurrences are up 28.7 per cent from a year ago, following a two-year decline.