bellwoods shooting

Toronto rocked after brazen Queen West shooting near Trinity Bellwoods Park

Toronto's streets and green spaces were particularly packed over the weekend with people having one last summery hurrah in the unseasonably glorious weather — a hurrah that was blighted by a daylight shooting near bustling Trinity Bellwoods Park that left residents shocked and frightened.

The shooting took place just east of the Queen West landmark, near Niagara Street. around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Known for serving as a prime gathering spot for hip millennials and out-of-towners, the park was as busy as any beautiful summer day on Sunday, with people partaking in the usual Bellwoods activities of tossing a ball around, covert day drinking, and generally just laying in the grass enjoying the sun and near-20 C temps.

The fact that the park and the Queen West strip were both so busy and are very rarely a scene of such violence is what made the incident particularly disturbing, with police rushing to block off traffic both ways at multiple intersections near Queen and Niagara Streets.

Those who were just moments earlier walking down the thoroughfare unworried were quickly running into caution-taped streets and sidewalks and wondering what was going on as police searched for the shooter while urging people to keep moving and exit the area.

"There were hundreds of people that were out walking around. There are still people walking around so clearly, it's a community safety issue. It's a policing issue," Toronto Police Inspector Stacey Davis told reporters on Sunday.

The 21-year-old victim of the shooting, in which multiple shots were heard ringing out, was among a group of people when it occurred. He is said to have run eastbound on Queen, turning up Manning Avenue, where he was found and brought to hospital.

The victim is said to be in stable condition after suffering one gunshot wound to the chest. The investigation is still ongoing and a suspect has yet to be located.

The crime came just one day after four people were shot in North York, including a 12-year-old and 17-year old, prompting concern among residents, police and politicians alike about continuing gang violence across the city, which has in recent weeks including daylight shootings in LCBO, Walmart and shopping mall parking lots.

Lead photo by

Staff


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