A shooting has been reported in Eaton Centre, located in downtown Toronto, which has that left one person dead and injured eight other people who were in the mall at the time of the shooting. Eaton Centre is one of the busiest shopping malls in Canada. Constable Victor Kwong reported that the victim that died was dead on the scene and two gunshot victims are in critical condition- according to an AP press release. The gunman fired shots into a food court full of shoppers. Limited information is available at this time to explain who did the shooting, the names of the victims and any possible reasons the shooting occurred.
The mall was evacuated as shots rang out and shoppers rushed for the exits. Witnesses have reported multiple gun shots being fired into the crowds. Toronto Blue Jays baseball player Brett Lawrie tweeted that he was in the mall at the time the shots were fired. He said he ran from the mall as he heard the shots. "People sprinting up the stairs right from where we just were ... Wow wow wow," Lawrie tweeted.
Witnesses reported what they saw according the AP press release. Marcus Neves-Polonio, 19, was working in the food court when he saw a man pull out a gun and start shooting into the crowd. He said he saw at least two people lying on the ground. The manager of the McDonald’s in the food court, Erica Solmes, said she heard approximately fifteen shots ringing out as shoppers headed for the exits. Hannah Stewart, a 21 year old shopper in the mall, said "All of a sudden a herd of people were just running toward us, a massive crowd of people screaming, running, freaking out. We saw this girl, sitting on the ground, and she had blood on her toes." The girl reportedly told Stewart she had been shot.
This is not the first time Canada has seen a shooting in a shopping mall. In 2011, two men were killed in the Gloucester Centre shopping plaza in Ottawa. Both victims reportedly had criminal backgrounds.
According to Guns.com, Canada has "about one gun for every four Canadians. To break down the numbers even more, approximately 1.8 million Canadians have a valid gun permit (that’s six percent of the total population), with most residing in Atlantic Canada and the Northern Territories."
Random violence can lead behind victims who are wounded as well as victims who are psychologically traumatized by the violence they experience. Crimes like this are extremely hard to understand- but shootings in a public place leaves high levels of concern in the minds of shoppers the next time they consider taking a simple trip to the mall.