Shooting at Sherway Gardens mall prompts lockdown as Toronto police investigate
Reports of a shooting at Sherway Gardens in Toronto have prompted police to lock down and evacuate the entire facility, a process that as of 3:15 p.m. is ongoing.
Police were called to the Etobicoke shopping mall, one of the oldest and largest in Toronto, on Friday afternoon.
"SHOOTING: Sherway Gardens. Police are responding to a shooting," tweeted the Toronto Police Service at 2:55 p.m. on Friday. "Officers on scene investigating, unknown injuries, Sherway Gardens is in lock down, will update."
It is not clear where the shots rang out, but several shoppers report that the mall was evacuated.
My day off and I thought I can shop a little, but then some jerk in the mall. Heard a loud bang and now they evacuated us. Police and emergency services here. #SherwayGardens #Toronto pic.twitter.com/mBpB9a03wK— Brown Girl Vin (@browngirlvin) August 13, 2021
Other shoppers say that they're still inside one of the stores, locked down and unable to leave.
Please keep us posted. We’re at the back of a store in lockdown.— Sandy B (@sandebeaches17) August 13, 2021
"I saw flashes of light and then screaming and running," one witness, Sandra B, tells blogTO. She is currently at the back of an RW & Co. and says everyone is waiting patiently for instructions.
Another witness, Veronica Torres, told blogTO that "an announcement came on saying the mall was in lockdown and to evacuate immediately. Everyone just started herding out."
She says the parking lot was a "nightmare to get out of" after people just started running out of the mall, following the heard.
Officials have yet to release any information related to injuries or potential suspects.
UPDATE, 6:45 p.m.: The Toronto Police Service has now confirmed that no injuries have been reported and that they've recieved information indicating that "shots were fired in the mall by two groups of people." As of 6 p.m., tactical officers remain at Sherway Gardens and are doing a "controlled exit of all people that are still inside." Police say the mall will be closed for an investigation once their evacuation is complete.
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