Two men are dead and a woman is in serious condition after a shooting outside a downtown club on Saturday evening.
It happened around 8 p.m. in front of the Cube nightclub at Queen and Peter streets, on a hot and busy night in the Entertainment District.
Police said two men, one in his 20s, were taken to hospital in critical condition. One man was pronounced dead last night while the second victim succumbed to his injuries Sunday morning.
A woman in her 30s was seriously injured but investigators say she is expected to survive.
Police have identified the victims as 21-year-old aspiring rapper Jahvante “Smoke Dawg” Smart and 28-year-old rapper Ernest “Koba” Modekwe.
Drake posted a message on his Instagram account, calling for peace to “wash over our city” while paying tribute to “Smoke”
“All these gifts and blessed souls and inner lights being extinguished lately is devastating. I wish peace would wash over our city. So much talent and so many stories we never get to see play out. Rest up Smoke.”
Police said they’re looking for a number of suspects, more than one, who were seen fleeing north. However, they have yet to release any suspect descriptions.
Mayor John Tory tied the shooting to gang violence, saying people with ties to gangs and alleged repeat offenders are “the only ones that pose a threat” to the city.
“This kind of thing obviously causes me to be angry and concerned,” Tory said while attending the East York Canada Day Parade.
“The gun violence is a challenge for us …It’s why we can’t have people getting out on bail 20 minutes after they’re arrested for using a gun and we’re working on that.”
“I know our police are doing a great job rounding these people up and getting them off the street which is exactly what we have to do.”
But Const. David Hopkinson says he can’t confirm that the shooting was linked to organized crime.
Lise Robichaud said she was on the Queen streetcar when she saw one of the men being shot.
“I saw the guy falling down,” she said. “I saw a lot of people running around and I told (my friend,) I said, ‘Oh, my God. There’s a shooting.’
“I saw that one guy fall. I saw when he fell … This is devastating, something I never saw in my life.”
Arshia Eskandarifar said he was talking to one of his employees outside his nearby store when the shooting happened.
“We heard the gunshots, and then I saw that people are running,” he said.
“I guess 11, 12 times I heard the gunshots … I looked at the other side of the street. I saw a man lying on the street … The other guy … he was covered in blood and he was asking for help.”
Eskandarifar said he used one of his shirts to apply pressure to the man’s wound.
“He was looking at me. He was saying that he doesn’t want to die,” Eskandarifar recalled. “He was closing his eyes, so I just slapped him one or two times to keep him awake. I told him, ‘Dude, don’t die on me.'”
Two bystanders said they were eating at a nearby restaurant when they heard the gunfire.
“We were at Bar Hop there just on the patio and we heard probably at least 10 gunshots,” Jennifer Grott said. “We thought it was fireworks for Canada Day.
“We looked over and saw a lot of people running down Peter Street. Then we saw a black SUV, tinted windows, speed off. we saw a white Bentley stop and the guys look around for bullet holes.”