Three children and two adults have been injured after a shooting at a toddler’s birthday party in Toronto‘s west end, officials say.
“There’s nothing more brazen than children outside in a gathering and this kind of violence happening outside right in front of them and then being victims,” Insp. Kelly Skinner told reporters Saturday night.
“It’s absolutely tragic.”
It was just before 8 p.m. when emergency crews were called to an outdoor area residential complex on Tandridge Crescent, southeast of Islington Avenue and Albion Road, decorated with inflatables and balloons.
Skinner said a one-year-old boy, a five-year-old girl, an 11-year-old boy and a 23-year-old man were among the wounded. Paramedics rushed all of the victims to trauma centres with police escorts.
A Toronto paramedics spokesperson previously told Global News a child was transported in life-threatening condition while another child and an adult were in serious condition. The spokesperson said the third child and an adult also had minor injuries.
Initially it was reported one of the adults was shot, but a police spokesperson later told Global News the individual suffered an unspecified medical episode during the incident and that they weren’t shot.
Skinner said the birthday party where people were gathered was for a one-year-old, but she did not confirm if the one-year-old injured was for whom the birthday party was for.
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She told reporters since it was still early in the investigation, the motive of the shooting was unclear and it wasn’t known if it was targeted or random. Authorities did not release any more information on the circumstances leading up to the shooting.
As of early Sunday, suspect information wasn’t released. However, Skinner said there were “multiple” people involved.
Meanwhile, she appealed to anyone in the area who might have information or video (surveillance or dash-cam) to call 23 Division at 416-808-2300.
“This is a tragedy. There were three children who were shot here tonight. We absolutely need your help,” Skinner said.
Early Sunday, Toronto Mayor John Tory issued a statement in wake of the incident.
“Firing a gun anywhere anytime in the City of Toronto is unacceptable. Doing so at a child’s birthday party goes way beyond that,” he said.
“My thoughts are with the children who were injured and their families and friends as they deal with the terrible impact of Saturday night’s shooting in Rexdale,” he continued.
— With files from David Lao