Man, 21, accused of firing shots inside Yorkdale Mall faces 8 charges
Published Monday, August 30, 2021 11:58AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 30, 2021 4:45PM EDT
A 21-year-old man accused of drawing a handgun and firing several shots inside a busy Toronto mall on Sunday was charged with eight offences, as police continue to pursue a second suspect.
At 3:38 p.m. Sunday, police were called to Yorkdale Shopping Centre for numerous reports of shots fired.
Audio obtained by CP24 from someone inside the shopping centre at the time of the incident caught the sound of approximately four gunshots, before people started screaming and flowing out of the mall.
Police responded to the scene then quickly located a suspect with the assistance of mall security.
The suspect led police on a brief foot pursuit but was apprehended a short time later as he attempted to run onto a Highway 401 on-ramp outside the mall.
No one was injured by gunfire but an elderly woman was injured in a fall she sustained while trying to flee the area.
The mall was in lockdown for several hours, while police in tactical gear escorted patrons out of the building and conducted a search.
A loaded 9mm Glock 19 handgun and a magazine with capacity for more than 10 rounds was found at the scene.
Police declined to name the suspect, saying that doing so would harm the ongoing investigation into the incident.
He faces three counts of assault, one count of discharging a firearm with intent to wound, and four other offences.
No details of his court appearance schedule were released.
The second suspect sought was described as an adult male, but no further information was made available by investigators.
Speaking with CP24 on Monday afternoon, Toronto police Const. Alex Li conceded that the shooting was a “terrifying incident” for those inside the mall but he said that investigators are confident that there is no larger threat to public safety.
“We understand that it is extremely concerning, we are taking this very seriously and we've deployed all our investigative resources now to make sure that a thorough investigation is being completed. That being said, we want to reassure the public that this at this point in the preliminary investigations we believe this to be a targeted and isolated incident,” he said. “The incident was very specific to those individuals.”
Li would not comment on a potential motive for the shooting, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.
“We are talking 3:30 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon at one of the busiest malls in Toronto. You know there's a lot of witnesses,” he said. “We’re looking for those people to come forward. Any piece of information, no matter how big or small, will assist with our investigation.”