Five teens were wounded in a shooting in northwest Toronto on Wednesday evening, Toronto police say.
The victims, two girls and three boys, range in age from 16 to 18. The girls are 16 and 17 and the boys are between the ages of 16 and 18.
Their injuries range from serious to life-threatening, police say.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders, who went to the scene, told reporters that the shooting happened in a hallway in a low-rise apartment complex on Clearview Heights near Trethewey Drive, east of Black Creek Drive.
Police were called to the residential building at about 7:30 p.m. ET.
When officers arrived at the complex, they found two victims in a hallway and two more nearby, he said, without offering more specifics. All were suffering from gunshot wounds.
Toronto paramedics took all four to hospital. Three were taken in emergency runs to trauma centres. The fifth victim made his or her own way to hospital and was also suffering from a gunshot wound.
Saunders said, apparently, a black sedan arrived in the area and three males got out, went into the building through a side door, and up to the hallway. Two of them opened fire. All three are believed to be in their teens to their early twenties.
‘Very solvable case,’ police chief says
The police chief said he believes the shooting was a “targeted attack.”
“They came in and within a short time period of time of coming into the building, they opened that door and fired directly at those people standing in the hallway,” Saunders said.
“This is a very solvable case,” Saunders said. “And I think if we can work collectively with the community, we have five people shot, very young people who are shot, there is no need for this to happen. If we can solve this one, it would be a good one for the city of Toronto.”
Officers found more than 20 bullet casings from the scene but have not recovered any guns.
Saunders said the shooters are believed to have fled in the vehicle eastbound on Clearview Heights toward Trethewey Drive.
He said they were wearing dark coloured clothing and hoodies.
Officers have taped off the area around the apartment complex and Saunders said specialized Toronto police units, including the guns and gangs integrated task force, and the forensic identification unit, are investigating.
Saunders said businesses nearby have good quality video and police are asking for members of the public to come forward if they have any information.
The police chief noted there have 235 people shot in Toronto this year.
“I have not seen this number before. We are actively doing our part in making the apprehensions. We have seized numerous firearms off the streets right now across the city, made numerous arrests, laid numerous charges, but really if we are going to get this right, it’s not a matter of apprehension. There are a lot of moving parts to this,” he said.
“But when someone does pull a trigger, we actively and aggressively do what we can to arrest.”
He said there is always the concern of retribution when people use guns and that is why police need help from the public to find the suspects.