Four people were shot and wounded at a rally at Toronto City Hall on Monday, June 17, for the NBA champion Toronto Raptors, police said. Two people were arrested.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said four people suffered wounds from the gunshots but none of them were life-threatening.
“So today at approximately 3:45 in evening calls were coming in 911 with regard to a shooting occurred. What happened officers arrived relatively quickly and as a result of that three people were arrested in total. Two on one incident and one on another. We’ve retrieved two firearms at this point in time. The investigation is incredibly early at this point in time. We’re appealing for witnesses.”
People who fled the scene sustained minor injuries. Saunders who asked for people who might have video evidence to come forward and help investigators.
“This happened in broad, open spaces right now where we had over a million people that were here. We want the witnesses those who were here. Ninety-nine point nine percent of people were here to enjoy the festivities of the Raptors winning the championship. We want them to step up and to help us by giving us as much evidence if you had whether you saw it, if you could call.”
The fans numbering more than a million had packed City Hall Square and downtown Toronto for a parade for the Raptors, raising concerns about safety and overcrowding.
“Right now we’re trying to see what roles if any the people we apprehend have in this particular case. We do have people arrested with firearms and so that’s the start of this investigation. Now to see whether or not they’re included or involved in this, or if their parties to this is where we’re trying to expand on this investigation, which is why I’m here. I want to make that appeal, so that we can connect the dots to the best of our ability so that we can bring this case in the right direction.”
After hearing the gunshots, crowds of Raptors fans fled from the packed City Hall square.
“I can’t speak to the trampling I know that some people were injured and we could hear live feeds and the paramedics worked fantastically with the fire as well as with that without police officers. We know that there are four victims right now, that have gunshot wounds. None of them are life-threatening at this point in time.”
The host of the rally interrupted one of the Raptors team owners who was giving a speech on stage to announce an emergency but asked for calm. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Toronto Mayor John Tory, NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and other players were on stage at the time.
“I’m not happy that there is a shooting that occurred but I’m also not going to let the shooting define this fantastic event that took place when we had so many people that were here, that had such a great time. And as you can see the crowd dispersed really, really well. And we’re going to hopefully enjoy the rest of the evening the way that Torontonians do, in a lawful and respectful environment which defines us I think.”
Those on stage remained in place after the shootings and speeches resumed shortly after.
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