Mayor Tory links shooting to gangs as two men die in brazen Toronto entertainment district attack

Mayor Tory links shooting to gangs as two men die in brazen Toronto entertainment district attack

Toronto Mayor John Tory is tying a shooting that claimed two lives in the city’s bustling entertainment district to gang violence, though a police spokesman would not go so far.

Police say two men were killed and a woman was injured on Saturday after shots rang out in front of a downtown nightclub at about 8 p.m.

Speaking to media about the incident at a Canada Day event Sunday morning, Tory linked the shooting to gang violence, saying people with ties to gangs are “the only ones that pose a threat” to the city.

But Const. David Hopkinson says he can’t confirm that the shooting was linked to organized crime.

He says he expects investigators to release the name of the deceased later today.

Toronto police attend the scene of a triple shooting on Queen St. West near Peter St. just before 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 2018. VICTOR BIRO

Tory says he’s spoken with the police chief and knows that officers are working hard to “round these people up and get them off the street.”

“These are people — some of these people who are out on bail and have been doing this repeatedly, involved with gangs — who are the only ones that pose a threat to the safety of the city,” he said.

According to police statistics, there had been 199 shootings in the city as of June 25, and 22 people killed by gun violence. There had been 170 shootings by the same time last year, the statistics show, resulting in 16 deaths.

Toronto paramedics transport a victim of a brazen triple shooting on Queen St. West near Peter St. just before 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 2018. VICTOR BIRO

 

On Sunday, Tory renewed a call for systemic action to keep people accused of gun crimes off the streets.

“We can’t have people getting out on bail 20 minutes after they’re arrested for using a gun,” Tory said. “We’re working on that. I’m speaking out very forcefully on that, and I’ll speak to the new government of Ontario about advising Crown attorneys on that.”

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