Four People Shot, Others Stabbed at Raptors Day Celebrations
Four people were shot near Nathan Phillips Square where the Toronto Raptors, along with millions of people, celebrating the team winning the NBA Title on Monday.
Toronto police said officers were called to the scene on Bay and Albert streets, near the southeast corner of the Square, at approximately 3:45 p.m.
A spokesperson originally told Global News one of the victims was a woman. No other details about the victims’ identities were released.
However, later police said officers located two victims with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
Toronto police initially said two people had been shot, but Toronto police chief, Mark Saunders later told reporters that number had been upgraded to four.
“We know that there are four victims right now that have gunshot wounds,” said Saunders in a scrum at the scene. “None of them are life-threatening at this point in time, but I’m grateful that the resolve to this situation was as quick as it was.”
Police said they had three people in custody and recovered two firearms.
On Tuesday, Saunders said neither of the firearms recovered were the one that was fired during the incident.
He also said they are looking for another person of interest – a man who is described as being between five-foot-nine and six feet tall with short light brown hair and a heavy build. At the time, he was wearing a white button down T-shirt and was last seen running westbound on Queen Street.
Video captured by Twitter user @Shamaplan showed several people running full speed in one direction, as officers ran to the scene of the incident.
Fans were told to stay calm and politicians, including Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Mayor John Tory, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau all stayed in place on stage.
Some in the crowd said they had not heard any shots but rushed from the area as others panicked.
One 25-year-old woman said she had been watching the speeches at the rally when friends pushed her to the side.
She said they started ducking and were then stampeded.
Mike Mudidi said he was enjoying the celebrations when he heard screams behind him that someone had pulled out a gun.
He says he grabbed his buddies’ hands and ran.
Some who stayed behind huddled near pillars in Nathan Phillips Square
The festivities were put on hold while several people, including Raptors coach Nick Nurse and broadcaster Matt Devlin spoke to the crowd, in an effort to keep them calm.
The celebration resumed shortly after.
The city estimated over two million people were on-hand to witness the parade and subsequent rally, which was meant to wrap up by 2 p.m., but was delayed due to how many people lined the streets.
—With files from The Canadian Press and Kayla McLean