York University shooting raises security questions

A shooting at York University that sent two women to hospital again has raised questions about security on the sprawling campus in Toronto’s northwest end.

Gunfire in student centre sends 2 women to hospital

Toronto's York University was on lockdown following a Thursday night shooting at the campus student centre. The lockdown was lifted shortly after 1 a.m. ET on Friday. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

A shooting at York University that sent two women to hospital has again raised questions about security on the sprawling campus in Toronto’s north end.

Two women were injured Thursday night shortly before 11 p.m. ET when a man discharged a firearm while walking through the food court of the York student centre. One was hit in the leg, the other was injured by shrapnel. Both were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The campus was locked down after the shooting. The lockdown was lifted around 1:10 a.m. ET when Toronto police said the campus could "resume normal operations."

Associate Prof. Andrew Eckford says he heard about the shooting Friday morning on Twitter. He says the school should be more proactive about reassuring its students and staff.

“Something this big, I think they certainly should have put something out on email to everyone before we started coming to work this morning,” Eckford told CBC News.

Officials declined to speak to CBC News today but the university said in a statement that it “has taken several measures to enhance safety on campus, including increasing security patrols and the use of Toronto Police Service.”

But some say that’s not enough.

“How long is that going to last for?” said first-year student Alisha Rideout. “A couple of weeks and then things will kind of go back to normal.”

York has beefed up security before, including after a string of sexual assaults in 2012.

Officials said Toronto police will be patrolling the halls next week. After that, the university will assess whether they're still needed.

Suspect at large

Police say the two victims were likely not targeted by the shooter, and were instead in the wrong place at the wrong time. One remains in hospital following the surgery, the other is back home.

The suspect remains at large. Police say he fled on foot after the shooting.

He is described as a black man in his mid-20s, about five foot eight inches to six feet tall, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a black coat.

Police are asking for anyone with information about the shooting to contact them at 416-808-3100 or by calling Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).

With files from Michelle Cheung and Amanda Margison