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York police force steps up presence around Jewish education centres, places of worship

Officers said they found evidence of gunfire on scene at the Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School. Ryan Belgrave / Global News

York Regional Police say they are boosting police presence at Jewish education centres and places of worship after shots were fired at a Jewish elementary school.

Toronto police responded Saturday morning to reports of gunfire on the property of Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School, located at Dufferin Street and Finch Avenue West.

No injuries were reported, but there was some damage done to the front of the building.

At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Insp. Paul Krawczyk of the Guns and Gangs Task Force said preliminary findings indicated two suspects had gotten out of a dark-coloured vehicle and opened fire in the early morning hours.

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Krawczyk also said while the police are “not going to ignore the obvious”, the incident was not yet being labelled a hate crime.

Since this initial statement, York police have stepped in and are providing added security at other Jewish establishments to enforce community safety.

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“I completely understand that this can cause concern, fear and anxiety in the community, especially when it happens at a school like this,” Krawczyk said, “especially with the students, the parents and the staff.”

The incident has seen responses from local, provincial and federal politicians.

In a post on X, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the shooting a “brazen act of antisemitism,” and stated the perpetrators needed to be brought to justice.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford echoed the sentiment, saying in his own social media post “these cowards need to be found.”

Officials are investigating the shooting and continue to ask the public to come forward with any video footage or relevant information they might have.

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