Armed man shot down by Canada police in Toronto
Police in Toronto shot dead an unidentified person armed with a rifle on Thursday, in an incident that caused four schools in the vicinity to go into lockdown, days after a shooter in the neighbouring US shot dead 21 people in an elementary school. The episode occurred at around 1pm on Thursday as police responded to multiple calls that a man was walking on the street carrying a firearm. He was said to be between late teens and early 20s, wearing a white ball hat and a three quarter length coat.
The reports came from near where Maberly Crescent and Oxhorn Road intersect in the Scarborough region of Toronto. Toronto police chief James Ramer later told reporters during a briefing that the armed man was fired upon by officers after he confronted them.
The scene of the shooting was just 130m from the William G Davis Junior Public School, which went into lockdown, along with four others. Three of them were soon moved into a Hold and Secure arrangement as the school day progressed normally indoors but their doors were barred to outsiders. The precautionary measures remained in place for approximately two hours. Police said there was “no wider threat to public safety”. While Ramer did not identify the person with the gun, and add any other details, as a special investigation unit looks into the incident and probes the conduct of the officers, as is done whenever a firing death occurs.
But recent events weighed upon the police as events unfolded.
“Due to the proximity to a school, I certainly understand the trauma and how traumatic this must have been for staff, students and parents given the recent events that have happened in the United States,” Ramer said, referring to a gunman stormed into an elementary school on Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers in the United States’ deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade.
“We continually monitor those world events and we work to take proactive action,” he said. In a statement, Toronto Mayor John Tory said, “I can’t imagine the fear felt by kids, teachers and parents until the lockdown was lifted.”
He added, “Toronto Police have confirmed there is no threat to public safety following today’s police-involved fatal shooting in Scarborough.”
“Thank you to police and emergency services for your quick action today in Scarborough. We’re extremely grateful for everything you do to keep our communities safe,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Twitter.
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