Six people were killed, including the alleged 73-year-old assailant, and another person was injured after police said a gunman opened fire at a condominium building north of Toronto late Sunday in a rare case of mass gun violence in Canada.
“We’re in the process right now of doing notifications to those families, so at this point I can’t share any information on the victims or the subject,” MacSween said.
Toronto is considered among the safest of the world’s big cities. Mass violence is far less common in Canada compared with the neighboring United States, which so far in 2022 has recorded more than 600 mass shootings (cases in which four or more people are injured or killed), according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Authorities said they responded to a condo in Vaughan, a city of more than 300,000 just north of Toronto, to reports that multiple people had been shot, York Regional Police said in a statement.
Law enforcement arrived at about 7:20 p.m., after which “an interaction occurred between the officers and a male subject and the subject was shot,” police said in the statement.
The suspect was killed and pronounced dead at the scene, according to Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which investigates deaths when police are present.
One other person was hospitalized in “serious condition,” the police said.
The investigation is ongoing, but there is “no further threat to public safety,” police said.
Residents who were evacuated from the building were allowed to return to their homes early Monday, police said on Twitter, writing that the evacuations were necessary to “ensure safety and preserve evidence.”
Vaughan Mayor Steven Del Duca offered his condolences to the victims of the families and lauded “the brave first responders who are working to safeguard the situation” on Twitter.
Some Canadians are fearful that high levels of gun violence in the United States could spread across the border.
Canada tightened its gun control laws in 1989 in response to a mass shooting in which 15 people, including the gunman, were killed.
Two years ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed to ban some 1,500 makes and models of “military-grade” assault-style firearms and said he would create a plan to buy them back from owners. The move came after a gunman rampaged across rural Nova Scotia in 2020 and killed 22 people in Canada’s worst mass killing.
Trudeau’s administration has also proposed a bill to “freeze” the buying, selling and importation of handguns, among other measures, which is currently under debate. His efforts have faced resistance from several provinces and territories.