Police identify 2 people shot to death in Don Mills area

It was scary afternoon for parents of children at a North York daycare on Monday. A daytime shooting in a lobby of a building directly beside the childcare facility has left 3 people dead including the shooter. Melissa Nahkavoly has more.

By Michael Talbot and Meredith Bond

Toronto police have identified two people who were shot to death in the Don Mills area on Monday afternoon, but the identity of the shooter, who also died, has not been released.

Police say they arrived at a business at Don Mills and Mallard Roads, south of York Mills, just before 3:30 p.m. Monday for reports of a shooting.

Three people were found deceased at the scene.

Two of the victims have now been identified as Arash Missaghi, 54, of Toronto, and Samira Yousefi, 44, of Concord.

The third deceased person, a 46-year-old man, is believed to be the shooter.

Police have not yet confirmed if the incident was a double-murder/suicide.

“With every homicide investigation, we have to be open to all possibilities,” Det. Sgt. Jason Bartlett said on Monday.

When asked whether the man they believe to be the shooter had a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Bartlett said, “I can’t give you a definitive answer on that. My understanding is that there will be autopsies performed.”

The shooting occurred in the lobby of an office building that also housed the St. George Mini School and Infant Care at 25 Mallard Road but did not have anything to do with the school.

The daycare centre was evacuated, and TTC buses were used to house the children and staff while they waited for caregivers. ETF and K9 units were at the scene to help clear the building.

By 6:30 p.m. on Monday, police said all children had been returned to their parents. “We have no reports of any students or any children being directly impacted by this other than they were in a lockdown for a period of time,” added Sgt. Bartlett.

The daycare was open on Tuesday, CityNews confirmed.

Concerned parents thankful for daycare’s response

One parent said she waited almost an hour to find out if her one-year-old son was safe, describing the experience as nerve-wracking.

“They kept the babies safe. That’s all that matters,” she said. “I’m thankful for the daycare, he was kept safe.”

Sarah Ashfield, one of the daycare workers, said she didn’t have a lot of information on the situation at first but told everyone to go into lockdown after a supervisor noted the building was surrounded by police.

“I didn’t panic; I just waited for the information as we received it.”

Once she alerted parents, Ashfield said she was bombarded with messages but couldn’t tell parents anything besides that the children were safe. 

She said she tried to reassure parents again as children were being brought out of the daycare. “They’re perfectly fine, they have no clue what’s happening,” she said of the kids, adding staff only told them as they were walking out that there would be police outside.

The daycare will be open Tuesday as long as investigators give them the green light, she said. 

Daycare workers and children wait outside the building that houses a school where a shooting occurred in the afternoon hours on June 17. Three people were killed in the lobby of different offices in the building.

Shahrokh Biniyaz, a graphic designer and photographer with a studio in the building, told CityNews he heard one large bang, followed by another, and an argument at the front of the office.

During the dispute, he heard the voices of two men and a woman.

“I walked out the back door, which was open, and called 911.” After police arrived on the scene, he said he heard another four to six gunshots.

With files from The Canadian Press

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