One dead, two in hospital after 'brazen daytime shooting' in Toronto mall parking lot

Brazen shooting at mall

One person is dead and two others are in hospital after a "very brazen daytime shooting" in a parking lot at an east-end Toronto mall, police said Monday evening.

Police said they responded with paramedics to the parking lot of Fairview Mall after receiving several calls about gunshots at the large commercial plaza shortly after 4 p.m.

Upon arrival, police found two victims suffering from gunshot wounds on the main floor of the parking structure. Police said they were immediately tended to by paramedics and taken to an area hospital, where they remained Monday evening.

Speaking to media at the scene, Duty Insp. Michael Hayles said a third victim was later dropped off by a personal vehicle at an area trauma centre, where he received medical treatment but was pronounced dead.

Of the other two victims, Hayles said one had life-threatening injuries while the other's injuries were non-life-threatening. All three victims were men in their 20s, he said.

Though Hayles said early information indicates it was an isolated incident, he said "there were clearly people that were in the area outside when the shooting occurred, and they were definitely put at risk."

"That is very concerning to us," he said.

He said police have information that several people fled the scene by vehicle and on foot, but police don't yet know which are persons of interest or simply witnesses fleeing a daytime shooting.

"We don't have any suspect descriptions that are confirmed at this time, however, we do believe that suspects did flee the scene," Hayles said.

"Our investigators are on-scene working diligently to identify those persons, or person, that may have been responsible for this incident."

A significant police presence could be seen in the parking lot, and Hayles said Toronto police's Forensic Identification Services was canvassing the scene for evidence.

Hayles appealed for anyone who may have witnessed the shooting or was in the area of Sheppard Avenue East and Highway 404 to come forward and help police solve the "very brazen daytime shooting." He also asked anyone who may have video or dashcam footage to come forward.

The force's homicide squad took over the investigation after the victim was pronounced dead. 

The quick response from emergency services and mall security meant there was never a threat to patrons inside the mall, Hayles said. Although the investigation was only in its early stages early Monday evening, he said police believe the shooting was contained to the main floor of the parking structure.

Hayles said the public can expect a heightened police presence in the area in the coming days.

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