Toronto gun crime hits three-year high, police stats show

Toronto police say there’s been a spike in gun violence this year, with at least 95 people injured or killed by bullets in the city.

There have been 147 shootings in the city so far this year

Toronto police say there's been a spike in gun violence this year, with at least 95 people injured or killed by bullets in the city.

Despite the presence of security guards and police officers, gunfire erupted at Muzik nightclub early Tuesday morning in Toronto's latest fatal shooting, which left two people dead and three others injured. Peter Sloly, the deputy police chief, said the shooting at the crowded nightclub is indicative of the trend gripping the city.

"The brazen criminals we have in gangs, they're getting younger, they're more willing to use their guns in public spaces and crowded spaces," Sloly said.

Police have not determined if the Muzik shooting is gang related, but did announce they're searching for two men in their twenties who are considered persons of interest in the case.

Police statistics show there have been 147 shootings so far this year, a number that's already eclipsed the total from 2013 and 2014. In 2012, there were 155 shootings, a figure that will likely be surpassed as well.

Whily Sloly insists Toronto is a safe city, he admits the string of gun violence is dredging up memories of 2005, the so-called "summer of the gun."

As it did in the wake of those shootings, Toronto's police force is focusing its efforts in areas where gun crime has been prevalent, including 31 Division, where police have launched Project Lion.

"We've put more of our officers in neighbourhoods where we can predict increased levels of victimization," Sloly said.

He's also hoping a new crime reporting app may help curtail some of the violence.

The Muzik deaths mark the city's 29th and 30th homicides of the year.


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