Surveillance video captures kids fleeing playground amid 'brazen' North York gun battle
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Sunday, August 12, 2018 10:20PM EDT
Newly obtained surveillance video shows children and parents scrambling for safety after a gun battle erupted near a playground in North York Saturday afternoon.
Police said Saturday that two men injured in the shooting near Leslie Street and Finch Avenue took themselves to hospital. Nobody else was injured. However the surveillance video obtained by CTV News Toronto Sunday sheds light on just how close innocent bystanders came to the crossfire.
As many as 25 shots were fired in the gun battle, according to police.
It started in an underground garage, where one surveillance camera caught a dark Mercedes opening its sunroof and then reversing down the length of the garage to an area where between six and eight men were standing.
Through the passenger window, someone in the Mercedes then opened fire at the men, who returned fire at the vehicle.
The men who were standing in the garage then flee. With the Mercedes in pursuit, other cameras then captured some of the men dashing through the housing complex to try and escape.
At one point, a camera captured a hand firing a round out of the open sunroof of the Mercedes.
Other cameras caught panicked children fleeing for their lives from a playground and swimming pool area as bullets flew by and some of the adversaries dashed past them to try and escape.
Police estimated that between 10 and 15 people were out enjoying the sunshine in the area when the shooting broke out.
“There was a father that narrowly saved his son by grabbing him and ducking behind a bunch of garbage canisters,” Det. Andrew Lipkus said. “This is obviously a brazen daylight shooting. The suspects in this incident have a complete disregard for any human life whatsoever.
One bullet struck the windshield of a minivan parked just outside the playground.
According to police, this is the second gunfire incident in the same neighbourhood inside of 48 hours.
“There was another sound of gunshots on Thursday afternoon,” Lipkus said. “We attended and located a scene near the exact area where this shooting occurred. We located four shell casings but there were no victims.”
Lipkus said police are exploring whether the two shootings are connected.
In the meantime, area residents say they the violence has left them on edge.
“It makes everyone very anxious now because it’s in your own neighbourhood,” local resident Nigel Russell said. “So if you can’t even go outside, then where can you go?”
Another woman who didn’t want to be identified told CTV News Toronto that she saw one man running and clutching his shoulder after shots were fired.
“I am scared because knowing they haven’t found the car with the people who have done it is scary,” she said.
Police say they are now looking for a newer model two-door dark grey Mercedes Benz with bullet holes.
Anyone with information about the shooting is being asked to contact investigators.
- With a report by CTV News Toronto Reporter Tracy Tong