Five killed in Toronto area apartment shooting – police

In September this year, a man killed 11 people and stabbed 18 others, mainly in an isolated Indigenous community in Saskatchewan province.

Five people were killed and another wounded late Sunday in a shooting in the suburbs of the Canadian city of Toronto, police said.

The suspect also died after an exchange of fire with law enforcement, local police chief Jim MacSween told reporters at the scene, saying the shooting took place in an apartment building.

The injured person was taken to hospital in “serious condition,” according to a statement, but their life is not in danger.

Police were called to the site Sunday evening at approximately 7:20 pm (0020 GMT) local time.

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“Once the officers arrived, they were met with… a horrendous scene where numerous victims were deceased,” MacSween said in nationally-televised news conference.

“They (police) went right into the building and dealt with the situation. One of our officers did discharge a firearm, I can confirm that. And as a result the suspect is deceased,” he added.

Suspect an elderly man

Police were investigating the motive and whether there was a connection between the victims and the male suspect, who has not been named but, according to the Special Investigative Unit, was 73 years old.

The suspect allegedly acted alone.

The victims were reportedly found in different apartments in the building, which is located in Vaughan, in the suburbs about 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Toronto.

Residents were evacuated immediately and dozens of ambulances and police officers were at the scene in the evening and into Monday morning.

Vaughan mayor Steven Del Duca said Monday morning that it was an “unspeakable” and “horrible tragedy.” 

“People are just in absolute shock,” he added. “This is something that I never thought I would see here… especially just a few days before Christmas (and) at the start of Hanukkah.”

Federal public safety minister, Marco Mendicino, tweeted: “My thoughts are with the loved ones of those killed in Sunday night’s tragic shooting in Vaughan.”

While it suffers far fewer mass shootings than its American neighbor, Canada has experienced an upsurge in gun violence, which has prompted it to recently legislate to ban handguns.

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In April 2020, a gunman disguised as a policeman killed 22 people in the eastern province of Nova Scotia, Canada’s worst mass shooting.

In September this year, a man killed 11 people and stabbed 18 others, mainly in an isolated Indigenous community in Saskatchewan province.

Shootings increase

Firearms-related violent crimes account for less than three percent of all violent crimes in Canada — but since 2009 the per capita rate of guns being fired with intent to kill or wound has increased fivefold.

Canada banned 1,500 types of military-grade or assault-style firearms in May 2020, days after the Nova Scotia shooting.

Parliament is currently considering adding more weapons to its prohibited weapons list, but the ruling Liberals have faced some pushback from hunters and sports shooters.

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