Toronto

Arrest in Distillery District, where officer shot vehicle multiple times, investigated

Toronto's police chief says the force is investigating after an officer fired multiple gunshots into an allegedly stolen car in the Distillery District yesterday.

Mayor concerned about 'very public' nature of gunfire

Toronto police open fire on car

7 years ago
Duration 2:05
Toronto's mayor says he has questions about the police shooting at a busy intersection.

Toronto's police chief says the force is investigating after an officer fired multiple gunshots into an allegedly stolen car in the Distillery District yesterday.

Chief Mark Saunders said the officer — who was captured on video firing 14 bullets into the engine block of the car while other officers scambled to arrest the 60-year-old suspect behind the wheel — hasn't been suspended at this time.

"There needs to be an investigation conducted," Saunders said, noting some specialized officers are specifically trained to look into shootings.

The shooting took place around 1 p.m. near a public space at Parliament and Mill Streets. Dozens of witnesses saw the dramatic arrest and many said they were shocked by the gunfire.

"I take that seriously," Saunders said.

Mike McCormack, President of the Toronto Police Association, said the shooting posed "no threat to the public" because the officer was so close to the vehicle.

Earlier Thursday, police spokesman Victor Kwong said the suspect, who faces multiple charges, was known to police and had 173 convictions related to vehicles.

In one case, the suspect had led police on a chase, injuring one officer who was dragged behind his car. It's unclear if the officers responding to yesterday's call knew that information.

Kwong said the suspect has been banned from driving nine times.

Mayor John Tory, meanwhile, said he was concerned by the "very public" event but would hold his opinions about what happened until the incident it has been investigated.

"Anytime a gun is discharged in the city it's a cause for concern … whether it's noon or it's midnight," Tory said.

Saunders and Tory were at Toronto police headquarters for a board meeting, which in part discussed use of force in situations where someone is going through a crisis.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now