A suspect has been killed after separate shootings in Mississauga and Milton left a total of two people dead and three injured on Monday.
Two separate shootings were reported in Peel and Halton regions, before a multi-jurisdiction police operation resulted in the death of the suspect in Hamilton.
The first incident was reported in Mississauga, where police said one person was killed and another taken to a local trauma centre. Multiple sources told Global News the victim of the fatal shooting in Mississauga was a Toronto police officer.
At a somber press conference on Monday evening, officials from Toronto Police Services and its union confirmed that an officer — 48-year-old Andrew Hong — had been killed.
Toronto police chief James Ramer said Hong, a father of two and 22-year veteran of the force, was in Mississauga on a training exercise involving Toronto, Peel and York police forces. He said he was shot at close range and died at the scene.
Nishan Duraiappah, Peel’s police chief, said Hong was on a break when the suspect, who has not yet been named, shot him in an “unprovoked and … ambush attack.”
The second person shot in Mississauga has life-altering injuries, police said.
Peel Regional Police said the incident took place in the Argentia Road and Winston Churchill Boulevard area at around 2:15 p.m. on Monday.
As the news trickled out on Monday afternoon, Peel police said they were searching for a man with a beard, wearing a construction vest. They said it was “imperative” anyone who saw his car — a black Jeep Cherokee — called 911. Halton police also said they were searching for the same vehicle.
An emergency alert was issued for an “active shooter” at around 4:25 p.m.
Duraiappah said that, after the suspect fled the scene in Mississauga, he was reported at a shooting that left one person dead and injured two others.
Police in Halton said three people had been shot in the Main Street and Bronte Street area of Milton at around 2:51 p.m. Halton police chief Stephen Tanner said one person was killed, one was in critical condition and another in serious condition on Monday evening. Officers said it was believed to be the same suspect.
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The suspect fled from Milton and was located in Hamilton, where a Halton officer “did engage” with him, the police chiefs explained at their evening press conference.
“There is no further threat to public safety in relation to this incident,” Peel police said at around 5:50 p.m.
Hamilton police said one person was shot and pronounced dead in the Hamilton cemetery. “The person has been taken into custody and has been pronounced (dead),” Hamilton police chief Frank Bergen said.
Just after 4 p.m., Hamilton police were told a suspect was heading to their jurisdiction, he said, leading to an interaction “shortly thereafter.” He said Toronto, Hamilton, Peel, Halton and Ontario Provincial Police were all involved in the investigation.
Bergen said there was no longer a suspect in “this investigation which stemmed from shootings that occurred in Peel and Halton.”
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the body which investigates police incidents resulting in death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a firearm, said it had invoked its mandate in relation to an incident involving Halton Regional Police on York Boulevard, where the cemetery is located in Hamilton.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he was “horrified” by the events.
“I’m so grateful to law enforcement for bringing this situation to an end. May justice for those killed and injured be swift,” Ford said in a tweet.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie offered her condolences to the families of the victims, calling the shootings an “unimaginable tragedy.”
“Like many residents across Mississauga, Toronto and Milton, I am in utter shock and devastated in light of today’s deadly gun attacks that claimed several lives and others in life-threatening condition…My thoughts are with the victims in hospital and their families, and I pray for their quick and full recovery,” she said in a statement.
— with files from The Canadian Press