Security video captures Toronto apartment shooting that sent 5 teenagers to hospital
Police described the shooting as a targeted attack, search for 3 suspects
A pair of shooters are seen firing handguns into the hallway of an apartment building in security video obtained by CBC Toronto.
The gunfire broke out at a low-rise apartment building on Clearview Heights near Trethewey Drive at around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, injuring five teenagers. The two girls and three boys range in age from 16 to 18.
Police say all five are expected to survive. One of the victims required surgery.
Toronto police chief Mark Saunders described the shooting as a "targeted attack" while speaking to reporters at the scene on Wednesday evening.
Investigators later said the shooters were dropped off near the building in a black sedan. They went directly to the floor where the victims were gathered and opened fire, according to police.
Officers are looking for three suspects.
"There is the concern of retribution and so if there is going to be any type of retribution, then that would add to our count and that is something that is concerning," said Saunders.
'A lot of screaming'
Witnesses described hearing a volley of gunshots and screaming.
"I'm feeling scared," said Alex Campbell, who was putting his son to bed when the shooting happened. He said he heard around 20 shots.
"I saw a group of people outside and there was a lot of screaming, a lot of yelling," added Katebe Kidd, who also lives in the building.
Kidd told CBC Toronto she had just arrived home after work before the shooting started.
"One girl had been shot in the bum and I carried her to the ambulance," she added.
Police are also investigating a second shooting that took place near Harding Avenue and Jane Street, around 2.5 kilometres from the Wednesday shooting. A 29-year-old male was seriously injured in that incident.
Police said it was too soon to say if the shootings were connected, but they will investigate the possibility.
"Obviously that is something that we will take a very hard look at," said Det.-Sgt. Jim Gotell.
Shootings on record pace
It has been a violent year in Toronto, with the city on pace to set a record for total shootings, according to police statistics that date to 2004.
There have been 398 shootings so far this year, resulting in 33 deaths and injuries to 202 people. A total of 582 people are counted as shooting victims by Toronto police.
In the 11 weeks since police launched a $4.5-million gun violence initiative called Project Community Space, there have been 127 shootings, 13 deaths and 69 injuries.
In 2018, there were 428 total shootings and 613 victims.
"These are families and neighbourhoods that are torn apart by this, and I remain deeply troubled by it," Mayor John Tory said during a Thursday afternoon news conference.
Tory has repeatedly called for a city-wide handgun ban as Toronto grapples with the rise in shootings, while Saunders has said he would support any initiatives that result in fewer handguns on the city's streets.
Tory repeated that call in the aftermath of Wednesday's shooting, but said more gun violence measures will likely be needed.
"I don't have a magic answer, and I'm not aware of anyone else who does," he said.
The incoming Liberal federal government has said it will allow municipalities to enforce handgun bans as part of a crackdown on gun crime.
With files from The Canadian Press