Toronto Mayor John Tory is calling a spree of gun violence over Father’s Day “unacceptable” and “extremely disturbing” after four separate shootings left seven injured and a man dead.
In a six-hour window, from 2:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, police responded to four shootings that prompted the mayor to speak out. In total for the weekend, there were 6 separate shooting incidents — one Friday and one Saturday — with Friday’s being another fatal shooting.
“Any gun violence in our city is unacceptable and the fact there were several shootings in our city this weekend including one where two young boys were victims is extremely disturbing,” Tory said in a tweet early Monday.
“I have spoken to Chief @jamesramertps and I know police are working to solve each case and ensure those who engage in gun violence in our city are brought to justice,” Tory continued.
The first reported shooting on Father’s Day happened at around 2:45 p.m. in the area of Humber Boulevard and Alliance Avenue.
Const. Alex Li told reporters that upwards of 15 gunshots were heard in the area.
Police said officers found a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy suffering from gunshot wounds. Both were rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries but are expected to survive.
The second shooting occurred at Allen Road and Eglinton Avenue at around 4:17 p.m., when a man was rushed to hospital in critical condition. He too is expected to recover, police said.
Less than 10 minutes later, officers then responded to a third shooting in the area of Caledonia Road and Lawrence Avenue West.
Police said multiple shots were heard and a man was found without vital signs. Paramedics said they did not transport the victim and police said the homicide bureau had taken over the investigation.
In an update Monday morning, police said the victim was a man in his 20s and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The fourth shooting happened at around 8 p.m. near Highway 401 and McCowan Road at an “unsanctioned” car meetup, police said.
Shots were fired and four people were injured — three men and one woman, police said.
One man was taken to hospital with severe life-altering injuries, paramedics said. Two other men suffered serious injuries and a woman sustained minor injuries. All were transported to hospital, paramedics said.
Police said they believe the suspect or suspects may have fled in a white or light-coloured Honda Civic.
Supt. Steve Watts told reporters in an update Monday that the car meet was originally scheduled in Pickering, near Highway 401 and Brock Road, but was moved westward into Toronto.
“We had no indication there was going to be any type of conflict other than that it was a large unsanctioned meeting,” Watts said in response to why there wasn’t a larger police presence as seen in Durham Region.
Watts said they were notified later in the afternoon that that event was moving west but did not elaborate further.
A few hours after the fourth shooting, Tory took to Twitter and said he will “continue to support police — including our guns and gangs task force — doing all they can to stop gun violence along with a further crackdown on the flow of illegal guns into Canada and the approval of the Government of Canada gun reforms underway.”
“I will also continue to support the investments our city has made and that all governments should be making in kids and families by providing programs that work to address the roots of gun violence,” Tory said.