Toronto

'There was a lot of chaos': 2 men dead in shooting outside Rebel nightclub

Toronto police say two men in their 20s are dead after a shooting in the parking lot of a nightclub in the city's Port Lands early Sunday.

Police believe an altercation preceded the shooting in the club's parking lot

David Babin is an employee at the club and says said he came outside after hearing gunshots to find a man on the ground in front of his car. (Paul Smith/CBC)

Toronto police say two men in their 20s are dead after a shooting in the parking lot of a nightclub in the city's Port Lands early Sunday.

Det. Kathy Stephenson, of Toronto Police Service's homicide squad, said police were called to 11 Polson St., outside Rebel nightclub, at 3:12 a.m. for a report of gunfire.

When officers arrived, they found two victims suffering gunshot wounds. One man was was pronounced dead at the scene and a second was rushed to St. Michael's Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Police say they have reason to believe that the victims and suspects were patrons of Rebel nightclub.

'Hard to sleep after something like that'

David Babin is an employee at the club and says said he came outside after hearing gunshots to find a man on the ground in front of his car.

"One of the victims was on the ground bleeding to death," he said. At that point, he says, he and his friend made their way out of the area because "there was a lot of chaos."

A shooting in Toronto's Port Lands early Sunday has left two men in their 20s dead, according to police. (Paul Smith/CBC)

He says he normally feels quite safe in the area given the usual police presence there but that Sunday night was "a bit traumatizing.

"It's hard to sleep after something like that," he told CBC Toronto.

Police say an altercation took place in the parking lot before shots rang out. A black vehicle sped away from the scene and was last spotted northbound on the Don Valley Parkway. It's unknown how many people were in the vehicle at the time.

Police have spoken to several witnesses and have downloaded much of the security camera video from the nightclub. Stephenson said the nightclub is co-operating with the police investigation.

"I'm asking for witnesses to come forward that were at the nightclub that night, and we are reviewing video at this time," Stephenson said.

No suspect description has yet been released, though Stephenson said she hopes that detectives will be able to release images of the suspects and their vehicle soon.

Nightclub owner 'shocked and saddened'

Ink Entertainment, which owns Rebel nightclub, said in a statement to CBC Toronto that it was "shocked and saddened" to learn of the shooting.

"Public safety and security is our top priority at Rebel and we will continue to ensure that it remains that way with the highest standard of support," the statement reads.
Det. Kathy Stephenson, of Toronto Police Service's homicide squad, talks to reporters near the scene of a double shooting early Sunday. (CBC)

The statement went on to say that details of the shooting are still being determined and that the company could not comment further because the investigation is underway.

On Sunday, forensic investigators were still at the scene collecting evidence.

The exact ages of the two men killed in the shooting were not released. Police said in a news release that they have to notify next of kin before releasing names.

The deaths are Toronto's 44th and 45th homicides of the year.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5100, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, or by texting TOR and a message to CRIMES (274637).

With files from Muriel Draaisma, Talia Ricci