Outrage, disgust after 3 children shot at birthday party in Rexdale

It was supposed to be a nice Saturday birthday party for a Rexdale family, now there are children recovering from gunshot wounds. Maleeha Sheikh has more from the scene and what the police and community are saying about the incident.

By News Staff

There has been outrage and calls for swift justice from the community and elected officials after gunfire shattered the joyous celebration of a birthday party, injuring three children and an adult in Rexdale.

Police were called to a building complex on Tandridge Crescent near Byng Avenue just after 8 p.m. Saturday following reports of gunshots. When they arrived they discovered four victims including three children – a one-year-old, a five-year-old and an 11-year-old – all suffering from gunshot wounds.

On Sunday, police said the five-year-old girl was in critical condition. The one-year-old, who was grazed by a bullet, was treated on scene. There was no update on the injuries sustained by the 11-year-old boy, while a 23-year-old male suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.

Police said the shooting occurred at an outdoor birthday party for a one-year-old.

“I’ve been a police officer for a number of years and this is one of the most disturbing scenes when you see young people indiscriminately shot, it’s disgusting,” Superintendent Ron Taverner told reporters on Sunday. “As much as this is a horrific, horrific situation, it could have been worse. There could be three dead children.”

“It’s disgusting,” said Emmalyn who attended the party with her son. “They have no respect … to think about how someone could just come to a one-year-old’s birthday party and do this.”

“This is a tragedy …this is very heartbreaking, it could have been any one of us – it could have been myself,” said a neighbour who lives at the complex and knows the family of the little girl that was shot.

“These kids are going to remember this. It’s summertime, these kids are supposed to be eating ice cream, playing games. I’m lost for words because I don’t know what to say.”

“To know that you were here, you seen the atmosphere and know that 80 per cent of the people that were here were children. Your heartless, your cold, bottom line.”

Premier Doug Ford called the shooting “inconceivable and beyond comprehension,” adding the “perpetrators must be found and brought to justice.”

Mayor John Tory issued a statement Sunday morning saying firing a gun in Toronto is unacceptable “anywhere anytime,” but “doing so at a child’s birthday party goes way beyond that.”

“This is a shocking and outrageous act of gun violence that comes amidst the work Toronto Police and the City have been doing that has led to a decline in shootings over the last year,” he said.

Both pleaded for anyone with information to contact police.

Police say they are looking for multiple suspects but have yet to release any descriptions, saying only they know the shooters arrived at the scene on foot and fled the area in a vehicle.

Investigators add the children were not the targets of the shooting, but are unsure if the adult male shot was being targeted.

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