'People should feel safe downtown,' chief says after 4 men shot in Kensington

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders says “people should feel safe downtown” after four men were injured in a shooting in Kensington Market late Sunday night, the latest in a string of gun-related incidents in the city.

Police were called to Augusta Avenue and College Street shortly before 10:30 p.m. Sunday

Toronto police remained at the scene of a shooting in Kensington Market early Monday morning. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders says "people should feel safe downtown" after four men were injured in a shooting in Kensington Market late Sunday night, the latest in a string of gun-related incidents in the city.

Saunders made the comments when visiting the scene of a shooting near Augusta Avenue and College Street. Police had been called to the scene for reports of gunshots shortly before 10:30 p.m. Sunday night. Four male victims had been shot, Saunders said. One victim was taken to hospital in serious condition, while three others were taken to a different hospital with less-serious injuries.

Saunders said police arrived at the scene less than one minute after the first 911 calls because more officers had been deployed to the neighbourhood in the wake of Saturday's fatal shooting in the busy entertainment district.

"We had this area highly saturated with officers," Saunders told reporters.

Despite two brazen shootings in busy areas over the holiday weekend, Saunders said residents should feel safe being out and about downtown.

"People should feel safe downtown and I will stand by that," he said.

Four people were injured in the shooting near Augusta Avenue and College Street late Sunday night. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

Enoc Ramirez, who owns an empanada shop in Kensington, said Monday it's already been a "very bad summer" for shootings, "and it's not over."

"I don't know why there's so many guns in the city," he said in calling for stricter gun laws.

"What makes these guys just carry guns, and who are they to shoot people?"

Meanwhile, investigators are looking for help from witnesses, or anyone with surveillance footage or dashboard camera video, to come forward.

"The appeal is if anyone was here, if anyone saw anything, to please contact us or call Crime Stoppers and give that information that we are desperately looking for," Saunders said.

Augusta Avenue was closed from Nassau Street to Oxford Street overnight, but reopened Monday morning.