An army of police, paramedics and other first responders soon descended on the scene, while people, some in their pajamas, emerged from their homes to see what was happening.
Toronto Councilor Paula Fletcher said during the council meeting that the attack was “not gang related” and said the gunman was shooting “indiscriminately” into restaurants and into a park.
Mass shootings are rare in Canada’s largest city. This past weekend Toronto police deployed dozens of additional officers to deal with a recent rise in gun violence in the city, which has seen 23 gun homicides so far this year, compared to 16 fatal shootings in the first half of 2017.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to victims on Twitter: “The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave – and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.”
The mass shooting comes a few months after a driver of a van plowed into pedestrians on a Toronto sidewalk,and injuring 14. Authorities have not disclosed a motive. But they have said the arrested driver, , posted a message on social media referencing a misogynistic online community before the attack.