Man in custody, two injured after gun pulled out in fight at downtown Loblaw’s: police
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Friday, March 13, 2020 2:50PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, March 15, 2020 8:23AM EDT
Two people were taken to hospital and one person was taken into custody after a shopper allegedly pulled out a gun at a busy grocery store downtown Friday.
Toronto police were called to a Loblaw’s at Queen and Portland streets sometime before 2 p.m. for a call about a person with a gun.
Police at the scene told CP24 that a fight broke out between two shoppers when one of them accused the other of staring at him.
The one man began to film the behaviour of the other with his phone and that’s when the man being filmed pulled out a gun, police said.
Employees at the store jumped in and helped to subdue the man and take away the gun.
Video captured by Newstalk1010 employee Russ Courtney, who was at the scene, showed several men working to subdue another as panicked shoppers fled, abandoning their shopping carts and knocking over products.
“People in the store were absolutely terrified,” Cortney told CP24.
He said for a few seconds nobody was sure what was happening and people were “bolting” out of the store or hiding.
“There was a lot of panic. People are already amped up and worried about what’s going on and there was a lot of tension in that store because the lines are so long,” Courtney said. “It was kind of a recipe for disaster, but luckily aside from some scary moments, it seems like everyone in the store is mostly okay.”
Police quickly arrived on scene and arrested the man.
“The cops were here super-fast. I’m just happy everyone worked together on that one,” one store employee who hurt his hand helping to subdue the suspect told CP24.
Two people involved in the scuffle were taken to hospital with minor injuries, Toronto Paramedic Services said.
Toronto police said one person was taken into custody and a gun was recovered.
Shoppers who had been in the store took to Twitter to describe a scene of panic, with shoppers fleeing the store, leaving behind their carts in line.
Tensions have run high at some grocery stores around the city this week as people shop to stockpile food, cleaning supplies and sanitary products amid fears around the COVID-19 pandemic.
Toronto Public Health on Friday urged people to be “reasonable” in terms of what they might need at home if they do have to self-isolate for 14 days.