At least 1 killed, 6 wounded in Toronto shooting
Monday, December 26, 2005 Posted at 9:25 PM EST
Toronto - At least one person was killed and six injured after shots were fired Monday on a busy downtown street crowded with hundreds of Boxing Day shoppers, with one witness saying the gunfire came from a passing car.
One woman was confirmed killed, and at least five others ? some reports said as many as seven more ? were taken to hospital after the late-afternoon shooting on bustling Yonge Street near the popular Eaton Centre shopping mall. An off-duty police officer suffered minor injuries that did not require hospital treatment.
Two suspects were arrested at a subway station a short distance away from the scene, and at least one firearm was seized, police said.
Police did not immediately say if the victims were targeted or if they were injured by random gunfire.
One witness, a man in his 20s who would only identify himself as Vickram, said he saw two men in a BMW leaning out the windows and firing guns.
"People were screaming," said Vickram, who was in an electronics store when the bullets started flying. "Everywhere in the shop, they were down on the floor."
Magnolia Sandoval, an employee at a camera store, said she wasn't frightened when she heard the gunshots because she didn't know what they were.
"Someone said they were shots, and everyone went to the back of the store," she said.
News of the shootings angered Mayor David Miller, who called it "a brazen act of senseless violence."
Emergency vehicles were crowded around the scene along with a crowd of curious onlookers. People snapped photos with digital cameras or cellphones ? some even posing in front of police cars ? while officers on horseback kept watch over the throng.
But it didn't take long for Boxing Day shoppers to bounce back from the shock of another shooting in the busy downtown area.
Patrons in a record store continued to hunt for bargains and compare prices ? even though the front of the store was blocked with yellow police tape.
An employee at a nearby shoe store said she barely noticed the gunshots because so many people were crowded into her shop.
Two other brazen shootings have taken place this year in the same area, which is popular with tourists but not usually known for violence.
On a Saturday night in late July, a man was fatally shot in a crowd of about 1,000 people at Dundas Square despite a heavy police presence.
On a Sunday afternoon in April, three people ? including two bystanders ? were wounded after a gunman opened fire on another man on the same stretch of street where Monday's shootings occurred.
There have been 78 murders in Toronto this year, including a record 52 by gunfire. The city set a record for murders in 1991, with 88.