At least four people were shot and wounded at a rally organised to fete NBA champion Raptors in Toronto on Monday. The Toronto Police arrested three people in connection with the shooting.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders confirmed the injuries sustained by the four victims were not life-threatening. He said that people also suffered injuries from the stampede that occurred in the aftermath of the shooting. He also urged the witnesses and people who might have a video to come forward and help investigators.
The incident took place at the city's Nathan Phillip's Square, between Bay Street and Albert Street, while people celebrated Toronto Raptor's win over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals. The parade was attended by an estimated 1.5 million people. The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, Toronto Mayor John Tory, NBA players Kawhi Leonard and other players were among those on stage at the time of the incident.
Videos of large crowds rushing away from the area circulated on social media
Asked whether the shooting was terrorism-related, Toronto police spokeswoman Allison Sparkesshe said the investigation was ongoing.
Mike Mudidi told the Associated Press that he was enjoying the celebrations when he heard someone behind him yelling that a person had pulled out a gun. He said he froze as people started running in all directions. "I just grabbed my buddies' hands and ran," he said.
PM Trudeau wished a speedy recovery to those who sustained injuries and thanked the city police for its quick response.
I hope all those injured in today’s shooting have a speedy recovery, and I’d like to thank the Toronto Police for acting so quickly. We won’t let this act of violence take away from the spirit of today's parade.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 18, 2019
City officials shut down several subway stations to prevent the parade from overcrowding. The city's mayor thanked the police for their quick response, adding that it was "disappointing and I'm sure a source of anger for more than just me that anyone would carry a gun and discharge it at what was otherwise a joyous celebration."
"I hope those found responsible will be held to account to the full extent that the law permits. I want to commend and thank the millions of other people who happily and peacefully celebrated our beloved Toronto Raptors," he added.