Dozens of additional police officers were deployed in Toronto over the weekend in response to a spike in gun violence across the city in the Canadian province of Ontario.
Despite the increased police presence, a woman is dead and 13 people are injured after a shooting Sunday night at a restaurant in the city’s Greektown neighborhood.
Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters that the alleged shooter was also dead.
A young girl was among the injured, and Saunders says she is in critical condition. The condition of the other victims was not immediately known.
The Star newspaper in Toronto reports witnesses described a man dressed in black firing between 15 and 20 shots in the area. They also described seeing several people on the ground inside Mezes restaurant. It was not clear if those people had been injured or were hiding.
A witness who was standing near the scene told CNN partner CTV that he heard about 20 shots and the sound of the weapon being reloaded repeatedly.
“And then, I saw the carnage as I ran down the street here to kind of follow the gunfire,” the man told CTV, who described the scene as “pretty crazy.”
Jody Steinhauer told CBC News she was with her family in a restaurant in the area when she heard what sounded like 10 to 15 blasts of firecrackers. “We started to hear people scream out front,” she said.
Toronto Councillor Paula Fletcher told CP24, a Canadian cable and satellite TV channel, that she heard that the gunman was emotionally disturbed. “It’s not gang related. It looks like someone who is very disturbed,” Fletcher said.
Police spokesman Mark Pugash told The Associated Press that it’s too early to say whether the shooting is terrorism.
CBC News reports Toronto Mayor John Tory is asking anyone with information to get in touch with the police. This includes those who may have video surveillance footage, dashcam video or cellphone recordings.
Tory believes Sunday night’s shooting is “evidence of a gun problem” in Toronto. “Guns are too readily available to too many people,” Tory told reporters during a news conference two hours after the shooting took place.
Police officials in Toronto announced last week that they would be assigning more officers to the city’s streets during peak evening hours as part of a $15-million “gun violence reduction plan.”
Authorities have been responding to an uptick in violence including an incident in May when two men set off a bomb inside an Indian restaurant in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga.
That bombing came just over a month after a driver plowed a van into a crowd of pedestrians on a busy Toronto street, killing 10 and injuring 15.