One man was killed and seven other people were injured after a gunman opened fire in a crowded food court Saturday evening in downtown Toronto’s largest shopping mall, the police said.
Shoppers said that a panic swept through the mall, the Toronto Eaton Center, as a man began shooting at the food court, which had been renovated recently. The police estimated that thousands of people were at the mall, which spans several blocks and has multiple levels.
No one had been arrested in the shooting as of late Saturday, the police said.
Bill Blair, the police chief, said that “the injuries of the man who was killed clearly indicate that he was a targeted victim.” Chief Blair said that the other victims “were very clearly, obviously innocent bystanders” who were struck by indiscriminate gunfire.
“The Eaton Center is almost iconic in this city,” Chief Blair said. “It is where we come to gather.”
Constable Victor Kwong of the Toronto Police Service told reporters that the man who died was 25 years old. A 20-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy were in critical condition, he said. Two men and a woman were in serious condition, and another woman was “grazed by a bullet” but was not seriously injured, he said. A pregnant woman went into labor and was taken to hospital.
Shoppers interviewed by television networks said that purses, strollers and shopping bags were abandoned as people fled. Some people hid under tables in the food court. Several shop workers said they locked themselves into stockrooms during the panic.
Chief Blair said that his officers were reviewing security camera videos from the mall and interviewing shoppers.
Service was shut down for several hours on a major subway line that has two stations that connect directly to the mall. Streetcars were also rerouted.