Toronto police have identified a Pickering teen who died after a shooting in Yonge-Dundas Square on Wednesday night.
Israel Edwards, 18, was shot around 11 p.m. and had life-threatening injuries. Paramedics took him to hospital, where was pronounced dead.
An off-duty supervisor with Toronto Paramedics heard the shots and was one of the first on the scene.
Police said there was some sort of dispute before the shooting, and three or four suspects fled afterwards. So far, no suspect descriptions have been released, and police are asking witnesses and local businesses to come forward with any security camera video or photos.
CityNews reporter Ginella Massa witnessed the aftermath of the shooting from CityNews headquarters and said she heard a series of shots that sounded like fireworks.
“We saw people running away from Yonge-Dundas Square and a few minutes later I saw security running towards the victim,” she said. “We saw a man on the ground and people started crowding around him. It looked like security guards were performing CPR on him before paramedics arrived.”
Emergency task force officers along with canine units were called to the scene and were seen walking north on Victoria Street.
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Mayor John Tory called the incident “shocking” and said police Chief Mark Saunders is devoted to tracking down the suspects and has also deployed more officers to the area.
“There’s no question a police presence in the community actually helps to deter these things as well as the kind of excellent investigative work our police do in tracking down people who carry around guns and use them,” he told CityNews.
Tory also said Toronto police have hired more officers, who are being trained and will be on the job “very soon.”
“The objective is very simple, which is to make sure (Yonge-Dundas Square) remains safe,” he said. “It’s part of the core of the downtown of a great big city, and so there are going to be things that happen … but the objective is to keep it safe and I’m confident we can do that.”
Meanwhile, the company that owns the nearby Toronto Eaton Centre said it is monitoring the situation.
“While this incident was not directly related to our shopping centre, we monitor events and adjust protocols as required,” said Cadillac Fairview spokeswoman Janine Ramparas. “Our security team takes the safety and security of our guests, tenants and staff very seriously and is assisting the Toronto Police Services, as requested.”