Police search for 2 people believed to be connected to deadly shooting at Muzik
Chris Herhalt and Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, August 4, 2015 5:23AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 5, 2015 7:04AM EDT
Police say they are searching for two people who are believed to be connected to the "brazen" shootings in and around Muzik nightclub early Tuesday morning that left two dead and three others wounded.
According to investigators, gunfire erupted at two separate locations just blocks away from each other at around 3:20 a.m.
One of the shootings, according to police, took place inside Muzik nightclub, as the official OVO Fest afterparty was wrapping up.
One male was found on the patio of the west-end club with a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene. Two others, a male and a female, were found with gunshots wounds outside the patio fence.
Just down the road, officers discovered a second shooting scene north of the Dufferin Gates.
Police say an officer on a bicycle came to the aid of a woman just seconds after she was shot, giving her CPR as she lost consciousness. Despite the officer's attempts, the woman was pronounced dead in hospital a short time later.
Investigators say another victim, who police believe was shot at Muzik, was found in the area of College and Dufferin streets after he flagged down an ambulance.
The injuries of the three surviving victims range from minor to serious and one has already been released from hospital.
The two victims killed in the shooting are believed to be in their early to mid 20s.
Insp. Peter Moreira told reporters Tuesday afternoon that it appears the woman who was killed "didn't have a role to play in any of the events that led up to the shooting."
"The roles of the injured parties at this point here are yet to be determined except I can tell you that as it sits right now, a female who is deceased, we don’t know of any connection she may have had to anything going on there."
Two persons of interest have been identified so far and police are asking the public for help determining who they are, Moreira said.
Police said the first person of interest was seen fleeing Muzik and is described as a black male, who is six-foot to six-foot-one, 25 to 26 years old and had a fresh buzz cut. The man was seen wearing a light-coloured purple crew neck sweater with a colourful design on the front.
The second person of interest was spotted at the shooting scene near the Dufferin Gates and is described as a brown male, with a skinny build who is between the ages of 24 and 28 and stands about five-foot-ten to five-foot-eleven. He was seen wearing a yellow and burgundy plaid button-up shirt.
"What we are asking is for people to find the courage to pick up the phone and call us," Moreira said.
“This is a cowardly act where the perpetrators rely upon the fear and silence of a great number of people."
Deputy Police Chief Peter Sloly said the nightclub had ample private security on scene, and followed all proper security procedures. When asked how a person with a gun could have entered the nightclub, Sloly said police have not been able to determine whether the gun was brought in through the club's main entrance, saying the venue was not "airtight" and an attacker could have found another way to gain entry.
He said private security and venue staff are typically responsible for screening people admitted to a nightclub.
In a statement, Muzik Event Centre owner Zlatko Starkovski said his organization was "absolutely shocked by this horrific attack."
He said there were 73 private security guards at the venue last night, with 15 of them tasked to conduct body searches using metal-detecting wands. There were also two paramedics and ten paid duty Toronto police officers on scene.
Police would not comment on unverified video circulating online that shows two police officers arresting a man at gunpoint.
Police are urging anyone with information about the shootings to call them at 416-808-1400.
Police have also set up a special website where witnesses can upload pictures and videos taken at Muzik nightclub on Monday night.
In a statement, Toronto Mayor John Tory called the shootings "senseless."
"This is not the Toronto we know. It is not the Toronto that has been a welcoming safe host for hundreds of thousands already this summer right up to and including this weekend," Tory said. "I am very confident our Toronto Police Service will track down those responsible for this despicable act and ensure they are put away for a long time"
The deadly shooting comes a year after a man in his 30s was shot in his torso outside the same nightclub during last year's OVO Fest afterparty.