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‘Make a difference’: $25K reward offered for tips on Toronto Jewish school shooting

Click to play video: 'Toronto police investigate shots fired at elementary school'
Toronto police investigate shots fired at elementary school
WATCH: Two suspects reportedly discharged a firearm at the Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School in Toronto, police said. Officers said the incident occurred shortly before 5 a.m. on May 25. Police said evidence of gunfire was found at the school – May 25, 2024

Toronto Crime Stoppers says it offering a $25,000 enhanced cash reward for any information that leads to an arrest for a shooting at an all-girls Jewish elementary school.

The reward was announced on Wednesday and is only available until June 30.

“If you have something to say, say it now to make a difference in your community and prevent further incidents from occurring,” Toronto Crime Stoppers said in a release.

On May 25, police said they went to Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School on Chesswood Drive, near Finch Avenue and Dufferin Street, where a bullet hole was found in a window at the school alongside other evidence of gunfire.

Police said based on video footage, a dark-coloured vehicle had pulled up in front of the school and two suspects wearing dark clothing began shooting at the school at around 4:50 a.m.

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No one had reported hearing gunshots in the area at that time, there were no reports of injuries, and nobody was in the school at the time of the incident, police said.

Click to play video: 'Ford tells immigrants to ‘not come to Canada’ if they’ll be ‘terrorizing neighbourhoods’ after Toronto Jewish school shooting'
Ford tells immigrants to ‘not come to Canada’ if they’ll be ‘terrorizing neighbourhoods’ after Toronto Jewish school shooting

Rabbi Yaacov Vidal of the Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School said some students were apprehensive about attending classes on the Monday after the Saturday incident, but everyone showed up.

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“We are united, we’re resilient, we’re optimistic and we trust in God and we are not going to be deterred,” Vidal said in a phone interview.

Police said it’s too early to determine for sure if the shooting was hate-motivated, but politicians are condemning it as an antisemitic act.

Insp. Paul Krawczyk of the guns and gangs task force said at a press conference that day that while the police are “not going to ignore the obvious, this is not being investigated as a hate crime at this time.”

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Meanwhile, members of the Jewish community, supporters and politicians gathered at the school last Monday morning for a rally, with speakers calling for strength and solidarity.

Daniel Held, chief program officer with the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, said the rally was meant to show “what it means to live with tolerance and peace and love for one another.”

“(The shooting) was a deliberate attempt to spread fear across our entire Jewish community, to make us cower and hide who we are, but as you can see here today, the attackers completely failed,” he said. “We are more determined than ever to fight antisemitism wherever it happens.”

Click to play video: 'Premier Doug Ford says he won’t apologize over his controversial remarks'
Premier Doug Ford says he won’t apologize over his controversial remarks

Premier Doug Ford also made controversial comments at an unrelated press conference where he accused people of bringing “problems from everywhere else in the world” to the province after the recent shooting at a Toronto Jewish girls school.

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There is no indication from police at this time that any of the suspects involved were immigrants, as Ford appeared to suggest, saying: “Before you plan on moving to Canada — don’t come to Canada if you’re going to start terrorizing neighborhoods like this.”

Police said they are searching for two suspects wearing dark clothing who fled in a dark-coloured vehicle. Video and images were released by police.

Tips can be made to Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.

“When qualified, your anonymity will be guaranteed by Toronto Crime Stoppers and you will not be required to testify in court,” Crime Stoppers said.

— with files from The Canadian Press and Global News’ Aaron D’Andrea

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