Man injured in shooting at King and Portland

A male victim suffered a lower-body injury after a shooting in the entertainment district early Tuesday.

Police were called to the area shortly before 3 a.m. Tuesday

Evidence markers line the street at the scene of a shooting in the King and Portland streets area early Tuesday morning. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

A male victim suffered serious injuries after a shooting in the entertainment district early Tuesday.

The incident occurred shortly before 3 a.m. near the intersection of King and Portland streets.

Video taken by a bystander at the scene showed the victim sitting on the ground, speaking with paramedics, before he was loaded onto a stretcher and into an ambulance. A crowd had gathered on the sidewalk and yelling can be heard in the background.

Witnesses reported seeing a white SUV fleeing the area. When police caught up with it, they found one bullet hole.

The occupants are co-operating with investigators.

Portland was closed for the police investigation.

Area resident James Lafleur said he heard four or five shots go off and then ran outside to see if anybody was hurt. From what he could see, the victim tried to get into a nightclub around the corner, but the bouncers denied him entry. 

"People were definitely running and that's what really caught my attention," Lafleur told CBC Toronto. 

He noted that a shooting occurred in the same neighbourhood just a couple of weeks ago. In the three years that he has lived in the neighbourhood, Lafleur said the violence has gotten "progressively worse."

Even with his window closed, he can hear people yelling and fighting in the early morning hours.

"When you hear that there was an actual shooting in your neighbourhood, you assume it's going to be like lightning striking, that you're going to be safe for another little while," Lafleur said. "But that's not the case. Two weeks later, this one's even more aggressive than the last one."

Residents 'should feel safe'

The shooting is the latest in a string of them in recent weeks, including a fatal shooting at nearby Queen and Peter streets on Saturday night.

On Sunday night, four men were injured, one seriously, in a shooting in Kensington Market.

After that incident, Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said extra officers had been deployed to that area following the Saturday shooting, which allowed for a quick police response.

He said residents "should feel safe downtown" despite the recent gun violence.