Four people were injured and another three were arrested in a shooting near the Toronto Raptors NBA championship victory parade, which was attended by thousands, police confirmed.
Shots rang out Monday afternoon at Bay St. and Albert St. on the eastern side of Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, after which people were seen fleeing the event. Toronto Police identified four victims with serious but non-life-threatening injuries related to the shooting. Two firearms were also recovered at the scene.
A motive wasn’t immediately clear ― and a Toronto Fire Services spokesperson told HuffPost that the shooting was unrelated to the festivities ― but it sent crowds of people scattering. Witnesses said they saw people getting trampled.
“We tried our best to escape,” witness Andrew Brown-Kerr told The Toronto Star. “We saw a lady get trampled, a pregnant woman fall. We saw some kids getting trampled and parents trying to protect them.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in attendance at the event and later tweeted about the chaos that ensued.
“I hope all those injured in today’s shooting have a speedy recovery, and I’d like to thank the Toronto Police for acting so quickly,” he said. “We won’t let this act of violence take away from the spirit of today’s parade.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory also released a statement, saying he hopes those responsible for the shooting “will be held to account to the full extent that the law permits.”
“It is disappointing and I’m sure a source of anger for more than just me that anyone would carry a gun and discharge at what was otherwise a joyous celebration,” Tory said.
Though the ceremony was briefly delayed, it resumed shortly after the shots rang out before 4 p.m., the Star reported. Thousands packed the square to celebrate the Toronto Raptors’ NBA championship win, and the area was reportedly at capacity.
Sanjana Karanth contributed reporting.
This story has been updated throughout.