Toronto police chief Mark Saunders says the early Saturday morning shooting in the Glen Park neighbourhood has all the earmarks of street gang activity.
Four people were hospitalized after police say three suspects emerged from a car and began shooting at a group of people near a restaurant in the area of Marlee and Glencairn avenues just before 1 a.m.
When officers arrived they discovered two men suffering from gunshot wounds. A third victim was found nearby in a portable toilet while a fourth made his own way to the hospital.
Saunders says one of the four victims was an innocent bystander who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Saunders also confirmed that one of the victims who was shot did return fire.
“It has all the earmarkings of street gang subculture activity,” said Saunders. “It looked targeted, it looked intended by what we have so far.”
Saunders added that three of the four victims are not cooperating with police at this time.
“One of the victims that [were] shot has a history of gun violence, served time for gun-related offences – not once, but twice,” said Saunders.
Four people shot overnight in the Marlee/Glencarin area. Two were taken to hospital from the scene. Multiple vehicles struck. Police are continuing investigation. #video @680NEWS @CityNews pic.twitter.com/mceRHP2fSp
— Ken Townsend (@KenTownsend) August 24, 2019
Saunders said they believe as many as 30 shots were fired in the confrontation, striking multiple vehicles and at least one stray bullet entered a nearby residence.
Police say they are searching for a total of four suspects – three shooters and a driver – who were last seen fleeing the area in a dark coloured car.
Police are appealing for anyone who has information to contact them.
“The unfortunate piece is that there will be more people that will be shot,” Saunders said, adding he believes there will soon be a retaliatory shooting from a rival gang.
“It is very reactive, it is very planned when these things happen. My fear is that they have no respect for the rest of the public,” he said.