Police locate suspected getaway vehicle used in playground shooting
Driver of vehicle and gunman sought in shooting of 2 young girls
Toronto police say they have located a vehicle believed to have been involved in a shooting that left two young sisters wounded at a suburban playground.
Supt. Mark Barkley told reporters at the site of Thursday's shooting that the vehicle was located around 11:30 this morning.
"That vehicle is subject to an ongoing investigation," Barkley said.
"The vehicle was located at Liverpool [Road] and Highway 2."
Barkley said police continue to "pursue every possible investigative lead to look for, identify and apprehend all persons involved in what transpired here."
Earlier today, police released images of a vehicle believed to have been involved in the shooting. Detectives said they were searching for a black Nissan Versa (model between 2007 and 2011), which they believe was used as a getaway car.
Police are trying to track down the shooter and driver involved in the brazen daytime attack in Scarborough.
The sisters, aged five and nine, were rushed to the Hospital for Sick Children after the shooting at 10 Alton Towers Circle, near McCowan Road and Steeles Avenue.
The younger girl was shot in the abdomen and the older girl was hit in the ankle. Both underwent surgery but are expected to recover.
11 children at park during shooting
Investigators said the shooter arrived at the park from a nearby parking lot. He then approached the playground on foot before firing at least seven shots into the busy area.
"Some cowards came into this neighbourhood and opened fire into a playground," Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters at the scene.
There were 11 children and one adult male at the playground during the shooting, Det.-Sgt. Jim Gotell said.
Police believe the adult was the intended target.
A source with knowledge of the investigation told CBC News that initial reports indicated two masked people were seen in a vehicle in the area.
'They just want to be kids'
A day after the attack, local residents described the community as family oriented, where neighbours look out for each other.
"It's always been everybody is there for everyone. If a child gets hurt and you may be doing something, somebody is there to help your child," said Dinette, who CBC News agreed to conceal her last name due to fear of retaliation.
She said her daughters regularly played with the sisters.
"They're beautiful little girls, very loving, very happy," she said. "They just want to be kids. They just want to play like any other child."
Another resident, Albert Tsui, told CBC News his son goes to school with one of the girls' siblings and regularly plays in the park with them after school. His son was practising piano when the shooting occurred.
"It's too close to us," he said. "I don't think this should be happening in our community."
Police said the victims' school has been contacted and counsellors will be available for any students affected.
In a statement today, the Toronto Catholic District School Board said that like many others in the city, its members have been touched by the horrific shooting.
"TCDSB is on public record in support of legislation to curb gun violence in the city, and indeed across the country," it said.
The school board said supports are in place for staff and students as they try to deal with what has happened.
"These supports will remain in place as long as needed."
'Thugs and cowards'
Meanwhile, Ontario premier-designate Doug Ford said that no effort will be spared to track down those responsible and bring them to justice.
"We have a bunch of thugs running around the city with guns, shooting people, and my prayers and thoughts go out to their families and the two little kids," Ford said Friday.
"I also think that once we catch these thugs and these cowards that they get locked up, they get locked up for a long time."
Ford assured the affected families that those responsible will be caught.
"It's heartbreaking. Every single person here, most people, have children, and you can't even comprehend what the families are going through," he said.
"These innocent two little kids being shot in the streets of Toronto? What's the city coming to?"
Ford said millions of dollars are being allocated to Toronto and Ottawa police to be able to fight guns and gangs.
"Our government will assist our Toronto police — I believe the best police anywhere for a city in North America — and we're going to make sure that we give them all the resources they need, make sure that we help them out because this can't happen."
'Totally unacceptable act'
Toronto Mayor John Tory also weighed in on the shooting, and he too promised that those responsible will be caught.
"Today, two young girls woke up in SickKids Hospital, victims of a totally unacceptable act of gun violence," he said.
"Since the shooting I have been in contact a number of times with Chief Mark Saunders, and he has assured me that the Toronto Police Service is doing everything possible to catch those who are responsible for this despicable crime."
Tory reiterated that he wants no stone left unturned in dealing with this crime.
"I believe … every Toronto resident, without exception, wants this shooting solved, and I want the people that are involved with this brought to justice. I know that Chief Saunders shares my determination that the cowards who perpetrated this despicable act will be apprehended and face swift justice," Tory said.
"Those who would fire into a playground where kids are playing, full of kids playing, with so little care, don't deserve to be among us here in the society that we are building in Toronto and elsewhere in our country."
He continued: "You will be caught, you will face the full weight of the justice system, and you will not terrorize our city and our neighbourhoods that are within it," he said.