Gunman kills 5 people before being killed by police in Toronto, Canada


Five people were killed and another injured Sunday night when a gunman opened fire at a residential building in the Toronto suburbs, police said.

The 73-year-old suspect, who allegedly acted alone, died after an exchange of fire with authorities, said local police chief Jim MacSween.

Arriving at the scene, police found “a horrific scene, with several victims dead,” added MacSween.

The victims were found in different apartments in the building, located in Vaughan, about 30 kilometers north of Toronto. The survivor of the attack was taken to hospital in serious condition.

Authorities are investigating the motive and whether there was any connection between the victims and the unnamed suspect.

Residents were immediately evacuated from the apartments, and dozens of ambulances and police rushed to the scene overnight, according to Canadian media. Afterwards, the police allowed the residents to return to their homes.

With legislation that is more restrictive than that of the United States, Canada has a firearm homicide rate that corresponds to less than a fifth of that of its neighbor. But the index is higher than that of other rich countries and is increasing. In 2020, it was five times higher than that of Australia, for example.

In April 2020, a gunman disguised as a police officer killed 22 people in the province of Nova Scotia, the worst mass shooting in Canada. In September of this year, a man killed 11 people and stabbed 18 others, mostly in an isolated indigenous community in Saskatchewan.

According to the government statistics agency, the number of violent crimes involving firearms in Canada accounted for less than 3% of the total. But since 2009, the per capita rate of guns being pointed at someone has nearly tripled, and the rate of shooting with intent to kill or injure has quintupled.

Canada banned 1,500 types of firearms for military or assault use in May 2020, just days after the Nova Scotia shooting. In October of this year, the government prohibited, by decree, the purchase, sale and transfer of weapons in the country.

The measure precedes a package of laws that aims to implement the greatest gun control in the country in four decades, part of a “wide state plan to respond to armed violence”, according to a government note.

According to the government, the purpose of the new order is “to keep Canadians safe” while the legislation is debated in Parliament.

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