Imagine just minding your own business, getting your Taco Bell or Subway on at the busy mall food court when a man opens fire. That's what terrifyingly, allegedly went down last night in a Toronto mall shooting. The gunman is said to have killed a 25-year-old man and injured seven others (including a 13-year-old boy) at the Eaton Centre shopping mall, right in the popular, tourist-heavy downtown center of the city. What could have possibly brought on this terrifying incident? (Other than the freaky full moon.)
Right now, police say they think the shooting was targeted, and that the victim may have had some kind of gang affiliation. They have also identified a suspect they believe was the shooter ... which is the good news. The bad: He's still on the loose.
The Toronto Police Det. Sgt. shared with media that they suspect is a 24-year-old named Ahmed Hassan. But he also is holding off on releasing a suspect description, because "it's very important that [authorities] hear from the public." They'd rather have that info than have "the information contaminated with us releasing information at this point." The Det. Sgt. also refused to share where they believe the suspect may have fled.
Sounds fair, but at the same time, I can understand why the public might be concerned. Not having a description means they can't identify an armed and potentially quite dangerous man who has killed, hurt, and wreaked terror on many innocent people. Still, authorities claim that as soon as they have the "evidence they need" they will be making an arrest.
Trying to reassure locals at a news conference, Acting Deputy Chief Jeff McGuire said:
One idiot with a gun on a Saturday afternoon in downtown Toronto does not speak to the state of affairs of the city of Toronto.
And you know, I would believe that it's (hopefully) the isolated event he's saying it was. But given how many people were affected by this terrible crime, with hope, authorities apprehend the suspect ASAP. Only then will locals truly be able to breathe a sigh of relief.
This BBC News report on the incident has more details ...
Would an incident like this in your town make you question your safety?