Toronto police release images of suspect vehicle in shooting at Jewish girls school

Dozens gathered outside of a Jewish elementary school in North York Monday morning as a show of support after shots were fired at the building over the weekend. Erica Natividad reports.

Toronto police have released images of a suspect vehicle in a shooting that targeted an all-girls Jewish elementary school in North York early Saturday morning while vowing to increase police patrols at schools and synagogues in the area.

The video shows the vehicle, but doesn’t show the actual shooting take place.

Two suspects are being sought, but descriptions are limited with police only saying they both wore dark clothing and fled in a dark-coloured vehicle.

Officers were called to the school around 9 a.m. Saturday after evidence of gunfire was discovered at the Bais Chaya Mushka School for Girls, located in the Dufferin Street and Finch Avenue West area.

Investigators say just before 5 a.m., at least two suspects arrived at the school in a dark-coloured vehicle and opened fire from outside the gate, causing damage to the front of the building. The suspects then returned to their car and fled the scene.

There were no reports of gunshots being heard in the area at the time of the incident and no injuries have been reported.

A despicable antisemitic act’

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow, along with Education Minister Stephen Lecce, and other politicians and community leaders were at the school on Monday to address the incident and offer support.

“These students have a right to learn,” Chow, who faced at least one loud heckler, said. “Their teachers have a right to teach in safety, and you and your families have a right to be safe. I came here to tell you, you are not alone … and my word to the shooters — it’s a despicable antisemitic act. It’s a disgusting attempt to intimidate the community, to fill people with fear.”

“And we say to these cowards, we will find you. You will be held responsible. I’m here to stand with you to say that antisemitism is like cancer.”

Lecce appealed to the non-Jewish members of the community “to stand up and speak up against the vile rise of antisemitism being normalized on the streets of this country. To stand up to those who seek to instill fear in the hearts of young girls and children.”

“We are here with a message asking Canadians to step up shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish community in defence of democracy, civility, human rights and the rule of law.”

Toronto police Insp. Paul Krawczyk of the Guns and Gangs Task Force said it’s too early in the investigation to say for certain if this is a hate crime or a terrorist act, but the force’s Hate Crime Unit will be involved.

“We’re not going to ignore the obvious, what has occurred here, what the target of the shooting was but at the same time it would be wrong to just guess at this point,” he said in an afternoon update.

“I completely understand that this can cause concern and fear and anxiety in the community, especially when it happens at a school like this and especially with the students, the parents and the staff.”

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today