Toronto

2 injured in shooting at Lawrence Square mall, suspect at large

Two people were shot in a north-end plaza Monday afternoon while others shopped nearby, forcing a lockdown of the shopping centre and a hunt for a male suspect who fled the scene.

Police are looking for 1 male suspect who fled in a white, 4-door vehicle

The shopping centre was evacuated, and while no bystanders were hurt, police decried the act as a 'heinous' threat to public safety. (CBC)

Two people were shot in a north-end plaza Monday afternoon while others shopped nearby, forcing a lockdown of the shopping centre and a hunt for a male suspect who fled the scene in a white, four-door vehicle.

Police were called to Lawrence Square Shopping Centre, at Lawrence Avenue West and Allen Road, around 3:25 p.m. for reports of multiple gunshots resulting from an altercation near the mall's north entrance.

Paramedics found one man, 27, conscious but suffering from a single gunshot wound in his nearby home, where he ran after the suspect opened fire, Toronto EMS told CBC Toronto. The victim was rushed to a trauma centre with serious injuries. 

Paramedics and police confirmed a second person was found inside the mall suffering from minor injuries. Neither of the victims are cooperating with police, said Sergeant Stephen Carmichael of the Toronto Police Service, but added police are confident in their evidence.

Carmichael referenced "awesome" video of the shooting and suggested the tape would lead to the suspect's capture.

"You'll be found," he said. "Turn yourself in with a lawyer."

'Scary moment' for shoppers

Ahmed Asmal, a store owner in the Lawrence Square mall, said hearing the sharp staccato sound of gunfire left those inside confused and fearful. "To be honest, we didn't know what was going on. It was chaos," he told CBC Toronto.

Asmal witnessed the chaos inside the mall when shoppers heard the shots ring out. (CBC)

When police arrived, Asmal recounted, "first they emptied out the food court. Then they asked us to empty out our stores." 

Finally, owners and employees themselves were ushered outside as police evacuated the mall. 

"People were shocked. Most people didn't know what was going on because you hear loud noises here and there ... When they realized it was a gunshot it was a scary moment for everybody."

Carmichael blasted the shooter's decision to open fire in a busy public place, recalling the 2012 Eaton Centre shooting. 

"This is a heinous act, as you can appreciate," he said. "There were a lot of people doing their shopping."