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1 dead, 7 hurt in shooting at downtown Toronto mall

Mark Blinch / Reuters

People stand outside the Toronto Eaton Centre shopping mall on Saturday after the shooting.

One person was killed and seven others were injured Saturday evening at a shopping mall shooting in the heart of downtown Toronto, officials said.

Toronto police Constable Victor Kwong said an interior search of the two-block-long mall ended with the shooter still at-large, CP24 television reported.

One victim, a 25-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the scene; two victims, a man in his 20s and a 13-year-old boy, were in critical condition, Kwong said. Two women and a man were seriously wounded and one woman was grazed by a bullet.


 A 30-year-old pregnant woman injured during the rush out of the mall went into labor, CP24 reported.

Police Chief Bill Blair said at a news conference that bystanders hit by gunfire were in the "general vicinity" of a targeted victim, CP24 reported. The 13-year-old boy was a "totally innocent bystander," he said.

Police, firefighters and paramedics swarmed Eaton Centre after reports emerged of a shooting at 6:23 p.m. near the food court, CTV television reported.

Video from the scene showed paramedics attending to what appeared to be a victim inside the mall. Paramedics were also seen rushing a male on a stretcher into an ambulance.

The 280-store mall was shut and evacuated, CTV reported.

Police sealed off several surrounding intersections.

Photos from the scene showed shoppers flooding out of the mall into the downtown streets, which are among the busiest in Canada's largest city.

Blue Jays player sprints away as shots fired

CP24 television reporter Jackie Crandles said she heard police and security "running around the mall yelling at people to get out of the mall, that the shooter was still inside, and that unless they wanted to get shot, they should leave."

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie tweeted that he was "pretty sure someone just let off a round (of) bullets in eaton center mall" and that he "just sprinted out of the mall."

Ujjawal Patel, 28, told The Globe and Mail newspaper he was inside the Eaton Centre when he heard 12 to 15 shots ring out. He quickly fled, he said.

"I was so scared," Patel told the newspaper. "If it can happen in the Eaton Centre, it can happen anywhere."

Marcus Neves-Polonio, a 19-year-old food court busser, told The Globe and Mail he was walking when a man started firing near the Big Smoke Burger.

Neves-Polonio said he saw one person shot in the chest and two people on the ground. He ducked under a table.

"I just hoped he wouldn't go in my direction," he told the newspaper. 

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford visited the scene and offered condolences to shooting victims and their families and vowed to support victims and police, CTV reported.

"This incident is absolutely terrible," Ford said, according to CP24. "We want to apprehend the shooter as fast as possible."

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