Police say a five-year-old girl is in stable condition after a shooting at a birthday party that left two other children and an adult injured in northwest Toronto.
Toronto Police Const. Edward Parks says the shooting happened at a party for a one-year-old boy, who was grazed by a bullet and treated on-scene for injuries but did not go to hospital.
He says the other three victims, who also included an 11-year-old boy and 23-year-old man, did go to hospital.
Parks says he doesn’t have information on the condition of the other victims, although police have previously said the adult hit by the gunfire suffered a leg wound.
Emmalyn Redhead told Global News on Sunday that she was on the way out of the house when she heard the gunshots. She said she went back and people were there attending to the young girl who was shot.
Redhead stayed with the girl to to make sure she stayed alert until the paramedics arrived. The little girl wasn’t saying anything but Redhead said she would nod when she asked her if she was ok.
“It’s heartbreaking. My son and her [the five-year-old victim] are the same age, it could happen to anyone. … I don’t think I could ever forget just watching her. … I don’t think she knew what really happened. It was like she was in shock,” Redhead said.
“It’s disgusting, they have no respect. It hurts my heart. To just think about how someone could come at a one-year-old birthday party and do this.”
It was just before 8 p.m. when emergency crews were called to an outdoor area residential complex on Tandridge Crescent, southeast of Islington Avenue and Albion Road, decorated with inflatables and balloons.
Parks said he doesn’t have any information on suspects yet or whether they fled in a vehicle or on foot.
In an update Sunday afternoon, Supt. Ron Taverner said there are a “number of suspects” involved but could not provide any more detail. He said they were seen fleeing southboubd.
“Horrific, horrific set of events … I’ve been a police officer a number of years and this is one of the most disturbing scenes when you see young people like this indiscriminately shot, it’s disgusting,” Taverner told reporters at the scene.
“Our hearts go out to the community, it’s a terrible situation.”
Taverner added investigators are asking anyone with information or dash-cam foots to contact police or Crime Stoppers.
“Children were not the target of this, as far as motived,” he said. “I can’t say right now [a motive.] There are a number of theories out there.”
He said there were cameras on in the area, but would elaborate on what any surveillance video may have shown at this time.
Early Sunday, Toronto Mayor John Tory issued a statement in wake of the incident.
“Firing a gun anywhere anytime in the City of Toronto is unacceptable. Doing so at a child’s birthday party goes way beyond that,” he said.
“My thoughts are with the children who were injured and their families and friends as they deal with the terrible impact of Saturday night’s shooting in Rexdale,” he continued.
Tory also urged anyone with information to contact authorities “to send a clear message that such dangerous and brazen behaviour that threatens the lives of innocent children will not be tolerated.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford called the incident “inconceivable and beyond comprehension.”
“The perpetrators must be found and brought to justice,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
Toronto Police Insp. Kelly Skinner said the children were not the targets of the shooting.
“There’s nothing more brazen than children outside at a gathering and this kind of violence happening,” she said after the shooting Saturday night.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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