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One Dead, Seven Injured After Shooting at Eaton Centre

About half an hour ago, news of a possible shooting at Eaton Centre began flooding Twitter (it all started, oddly, with reports from Toronto Blue Jays player Brett Lawrie, who appears to have been on the scene). The Toronto Police Service hasn’t released any details yet, but TTC service between Bloor and Union stations has been suspended [UPDATE: June 3, 2012 Service is back to normal.] while emergency responders deal with the incident. We’ll post more details as we get them.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 7 PM The TTC has announced that it is now diverting the 501 Queen streetcar around the Eaton Centre.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 7:01 PM Police-scanner chatter indicates multiple victims, one of whom may be a pregnant woman whose water has broken.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 7:05 PM Scanner chatter indicates the suspect is male, black, 27 years old, muscular, and possibly wearing a black hat.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 7:10 PM Scanner description of a second suspect: Male, white, 30 to 40 years old, muscular build, short hair, wearing a black jacket and pants, and carrying a black handgun.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 7:14 PM The TTC has announced that it is diverting the 505 Dundas streetcar around the Eaton Centre. The police appear to be evacuating employees from the mall.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 7:18 PM CBC reports that a shooting has been confirmed by police.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 7:23 PM Bystanders on the scene report a massive police presence.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 7:23 PM Video from Twitvid user TJ shows a man being wheeled out of the Eaton Centre on a stretcher:

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 7:45 PM The Toronto Star is reporting two injuries, one to a 13-year-old. The pregnant woman believed to have gone into labour, the Star says, was not injured.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 7:48 PM CP24 reports that the shooting happened in the Eaton Centre’s food court.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 8:11 PM Brian Tien Trinh, a Huffington Post intern who is tweeting from the scene, reports that “Yonge Street is slowly returning to normal.” Police tape is coming down, he writes, and traffic is moving on Yonge, past Dundas Street.

The scanner now says police are looking for five young men, all believed to be between 18 and 23 years old. Four of them are being described as black, and one is being described as white. The one police think might have been the shooter is said to have cornrows, and to be wearing a black zip-up hoodie with white lettering on it.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 8:45 PM From an interview conducted by Torontoist‘s Ryan Walker with John, an employee of The Source at the Eaton Centre, which is near the food court where the shootings reportedly happened:

“I was speaking with one of my employees when I heard two gunshots, followed by about eight to 10 more. I saw lots of people running up from downstairs, so I immediately got all the people in my store—customers and employees—to the back room. We were able to get our front gate closed, and then I directed all the customers through the back emergency hallways and up to the street-level exit. Once we had the customers out, I got my employees to grab their belongings…and also evacuate through the same route.”

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 9:11 PM 680 News is reporting that police have confirmed one death and seven injuries.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 9:17 PM CP24 reports that the shooter is still at large, and that police aren’t sure how many injuries are directly related to the shooting, and how many occurred during the subsequent rush for the exits.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 9:19 PM According to the scanner, Queen Street south of the Eaton Centre is now open for pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 9:37 PM The Star reports that one of the surviving victims is in life-threatening condition, while two others are in critical condition.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 9:52 PM We’ve just added a few more pictures to the photo gallery at the top of the post. All were taken in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. Things have calmed down considerably since then.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 9:58 PM And CBC has a list of the victims’ ages and conditions. A 13-year-old boy is in critical condition.

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 10:07 PM The CBC also reports that Mayor Rob Ford was at the scene. They quote him as saying: “This incident tonight is absolutely terrible. We want to make sure these people are apprehended and arrested.”

UPDATE: June 2, 2012, 11:17 PM Here’s a final update before we call it a night.

The TTC has announced a return to normal service on the 505 Dundas streetcar line, meaning traffic on that street is flowing normally once again. Police Chief Bill Blair has weighed in on the situation. He suspects the man who died was the one targeted by the killer (or killers), and that the other injuries weren’t premeditated. Several police officers have told Torontoist that the mall will likely be closed tomorrow, and possibly on Monday. One police source says the body of the deceased is still inside the food court, as police continue to examine the crime scene. Subway trains are still bypassing Queen and Dundas stations. The New York Times has an article up.

We’ll have a more concise roundup of information for you tomorrow.


  • smc

    I hope that they catch this idiot soon and quickly bring him to trial.

  • Ruth M. Babin

    ppl r not even safe in a huge mall at the food court ..what is this world coming to!

    • Anonymous

      So true, a world run by social conservatives is not a safe place to live.

      • Anonymous

        (Comment deleted.)

  • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      The Sun Media, why bother with those nutters.
      A friend moved here from Chicgao 13 yrs ago, despite a feeling of home sickness at time he would never go back. I will quote something he said, ‘you had 69 murders last year, that is a quiet weekend in Chicago’
      Carry on and enjoy a very safe city and do not listen to these doom Sayers. Their goal is to prove all immigrants are destroying Canada.

      • Anonymous

        And Rob Ford wants Toronto to be more like Chicago… no thanks.

      • Toronto My Way

        Reason and rationality are starkly absent from “these doom Sayers” as you call them.

        How can immigration be at issue here when Toronto, the most multicultural city in the country, is 9th on the homicide rate list? The other eight cities across the country with higher murder rates have less multiculturalism than Toronto. Clearly, multiculturalism is not the issue.

        Nice to know we can have a conversation here at Torontoist where cooler heads might prevail.

        • Anonymous

          Immigration ‘not an issue,’ you say?

          CSIS has been warning successive Federal governments about this for years: the annual immigration intake (250,000+ permanent immigrants, and +300,000 ‘temporary’ migrants) is simply too large for thorough screening. This is how Chris Coke’s gang managed to set up shop in Canada, along with others:

          The victim, Ahmed Hassan, was ‘known to police’–likely, of East African extraction. Somali gangs have also been making inroads in Canada:

          It’s time to stop being politically-correct, and pretending that ‘poverty,’ sixty year old licensed gun collectors, or the progressives other usual suspects are the cause of things like this incident, and the Jane Creba slaying.

          • Anonymous

            Got it: all immigrants = naturally violent gang members.

          • Michael DiFrancesco

            Of course! Good Canadian Boys never commit crimes, and if they do, it’s only because of the corrupt influence of [insert recent, prominent immigrant nationality here].

          • Anonymous

            Instead of finding articles to prove your point. I would be interested that you would explain it in your own words. Try to use more then just three cases. There have been 100′s of thousands of people immigrating to Canada over the years. I get a good vibe that have purposely avoided looking at cases of violence that have been done by born Canadians

          • Toronto My Way

            I did not type “immigration is not an issue,” I distinctly typed “multiculturalism is not THE issue” as some are determined to try to make it.

            Answer my question – Toronto, the most multicultural city in the country, is NINTH in homicide rate. What’s your explanation for the other eight cities ahead of Toronto with less multiculturalism? Regina’s murder rate is 3x that of Toronto, are we blaming multiculturalism?

            While you’re trying to make the absurd case that immigration is the issue, consider this list of rapists, pedophiles, mass murderers and cannibals – Clifford Olsen, Paul Bernardo, Karla Homolka, Michael Rafferty, Terry-Lynn McClintic, Russell Williams, Marc Lepine…Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dalmer, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, the Menendez brothers, etc., etc., and tell me if you can spot the similarity among them.


  • Anonymous

    When young people can’t get jobs, or the jobs they can get pay minimum wage, and they are subjected to an endless blitzkrieg of consumerism, this is what some turn to.

    • Bradley Strider

      Speaking from personal experience, whenever I am glum about my employment prospects and all all the ads on TV, shooting people in a crowded public space is the first thing I turn to.

      • Anonymous

        But wait, there’s more…

    • Anonymous

      From the sounds of it, this is likely gang-related. That lifestyle starts before anyone involved is thinking of getting a job (or finishing high school), and criminals generally don’t worry about being able to pay for consumer bling.

      • Anonymous


  • Ira Zinman

    Regarding immigration, the problem is that people are NOT being properly screened. Dozens of associates of Chris ‘Dudus’ Coke’s ‘Shower Posse’ (so-called, because they like to fire randomly into crowds) managed to settle in Toronto, alone. These are people with criminal records in their country of origin–a quick phonecall to the Kingston, Jamaica police would have verified that. And, of course, there are East African and other criminals coming into Canada, with whom background checks are simply impossible. Again, CSIS and other security experts have warned that the annual immigration intake is so high that it precludes thorough screening for criminality.

    And the MOs of these gangs are far different than those of, say, Italian and Irish mafia, or the HAs. ‘Traditional’ organized crime groups tend to shy away from public shootings, as it brings unwanted attention. But Jamaican, East African, and other gangsters are not adverse to broad daylighy, public shootings like this, or the Jane Creba killing. Often, the precipitating factor isn’t ‘business,’ but some personal slight. Britain has a fantastic problem with its Caribbean Yardies, for this reason. And the annual shootouts at Toronto’s Caribbean Parade, or at similar cultural venues across the country (e.g., the frequent, witness-free shootings at Jamaican parties, in community halls and clubs) have become a sick, running joke.

    Remember that, prior to 1977, Canadians could legally purchase MACHINE GUNS without permits. Yet these sorts of shootings were unheard of. The David Miller and Bill Blair approach of blaming this sort of gun violence on legal handgun owners and senior citizens with lapsed PALs isn’t working. Nor will blowing money on youth centres and other progressive fluff. Solving this will take a three-pronged approach. Toronto needs to gentrify the Jane & Finch area, and break up ethnic enclaves. The Federal Government needs to start deporting foreign-born criminals (including stripping them of their citizenships) and tighten immigration screening. And the Ontario Provincial Government needs to start tossing Canadian-born criminals in jail…rather than bogus, politically-motivated stunts, like the murder charge against TPS officer David Cavanagh.

    • Michael DiFrancesco

      For the last bloody time – and I can’t believe we’re still having these stupid debates in 2012 – brown and black people are not, not, NOT the reason why these murders happen. Full stop.

      People do not commit crimes because they are from a certain place, or of a certain colour. People DO commit crimes because they are poor, and because they are desperate. This is true of white people AS MUCH AS it is true of any other race. That’s it. It’s as simple as that. Displacing people will make things worse. “Breaking up ethnic enclaves” (Jesus Christ, seriously?) will make things worse. “Tightening immigration screening” will be very expensive, raise your taxes, and criminals will STILL get into this country because – shocker! – the problem is that they are poor.

      So enough of this racist crap. Enough of this immigration crap. You want to lower crime rates in one of the safest cities in North America? Tackle poverty.

  • Anonymous

    “The idea of tackling the “root causes” of crime – including income, education, health and family circumstances – sounds air-fairy until you look at the numbers. Such cities as Glasgow, Scotland and Boston, MA have reduced crime and saved millions by pursuing strategies as simple as getting different agencies to talk to each other.

    “We’re obsessed with enforcement. And, particularly in Ontario, we have not really looked outside at what works,” Prof. Waller said. “We can’t arrest our way out of this sort of violence: We have to look at where it comes from. … Which means getting young men out of these gangs.”