Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders says five people — mostly teens — have been injured after a shooting in the city’s west end Wednesday evening.
Emergency crews were called to a property on Clearview Heights near Trethewey Drive, north of Black Creek Drive and Eglinton Avenue West, just after 7:30 p.m. with reports gunshots were fired.
Saunders said a group of people were gathered in an apartment hallway when three male suspects dressed in dark-coloured clothing arrived in a black sedan. He said two of the three suspects entered through a side door and opened fire on the people in the hallway.
“This was definitely targeted based on the evidence we have. It was specific … that group was targeted by the suspects,” Saunders told reporters at the scene.
WATCH: Toronto west-end shooting leaves 5 injured
Four victims were taken to a trauma centre by paramedics, three of whom were being rushed with a police escort. Saunders said a fifth person with injuries walked into hospital. He said two female victims are 16 and 17, and three male victims are between the ages of 16 and 18.
A Toronto Paramedics spokesperson told Global News the severity of the victims’ injuries ranges between serious and critical.
Staff Sgt. Donovan Locke said Thursday morning it’s a “good fact” that all of the victims will likely survive and one of them underwent surgery overnight.
The suspects were last seen heading east on Clearview Heights toward Trethewey Drive.
Saunders said at least 20 shell casings were found at the scene. He said investigators were canvassing the area for surveillance.
“This is a very solvable case,” he said while asking for anyone with video or information to call police at 416-808-1200 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.
“I think that if we can work collectively with the community … there’s no need for this to happen. If we can solve this one then it would be a good one for the city of Toronto.”
The incident comes less than 24 hours after two people were shot at a home near Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue West. It’s not clear if there’s any connection between the two incidents.
Saunders said 235 people have been shot to date in 2019, adding he “hasn’t seen this number before.” He said police have been actively working to make arrests.
“If we’re going to get this right, it’s not a matter of apprehension. There are a lot of moving parts to this. But when someone does pull a trigger, we actively and aggressively do what we can to arrest,” he said, adding there is a concern for potential retribution.
“We’re making this appeal with the hopes that we can apprehend these people before any future gun violence happens in our city.”
— With a file from The Canadian Press.