Yorkdale Shopping Centre has been placed under a lockdown following a reported shooting on Sunday afternoon.
Police say that they received multiple calls regarding the sound of gunshots inside the mall at around 3:40 p.m.
Const. Alex Li says that officers responding to the scene quickly located a suspect with the assistance of mall security and were able to apprehend that individual following a brief pursuit. He said a loaded firearm was also recovered.
At this point no injuries have been reported, though paramedics remain on scene as a precaution.
“I want to reassure everybody that we’ve deployed every single resource that we have here. It is safe at this point in time but until we get the all clear from our Emergency Task Force we want to just keep things the way they are,” Li said of the lockdown, which remains in effect.
Li said that police hope to eventually designate an area where those trapped inside the mall can reunite with their loved ones but must first complete a full sweep of the premises to ensure there are no additional suspects inside.
Meanwhile, a picture is starting to emerge of a chaotic scene inside the mall.
One woman, who was inside the Hudson’s Bay department store at Yorkdale when the shots rang out, told CP24 that she heard as many as five gunshots in quick succession.
She said that immediately upon hearing the shots she rushed to the nearest exit but had to scramble after realizing that it was locked due to COVID-19 protocols.
She was eventually able to find her way outside by taking another exit.
“It was extreme chaos because you don’t know where the shots are, they sounded really close to where we were, almost in the same room,” the woman said.
The apparent shooting comes nearly three years to the day after gunfire last erupted inside Yorkdale mall.
That shooting, near a Starbucks, sent shoppers scrambling for cover but did not result in any physical injuries.
Police say that their investigation into Sunday’s gunfire is “ongoing.”
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