Shoppers panicked after gunshots were heard inside a Toronto mall. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Oxford Properties
Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre was put on lockdown after gunshots were fired Thursday afternoon.
Shortly before 3 p.m. ET, gunfire rang out at the famous north-end mall. Cops received several 911 calls reporting a shooting, as confirmed by Supt. Rob Johnson. Investigators found out that the gunfire was from a fight that took place in the southern corner of the mall.
Two groups of men apparently had a conflict, which resulted to one of them pulling out a gun and firing at least two shots. All members of the groups fled the scene. Police tweeted earlier that they were looking for two men in their 20s – one of whom may be in possession of a handgun.
I was in the food court at Yorkdale mall today when the mass panic set in. I thought my time was up. It is a weird feeling to be certain you're about to die. Due to the actions of one asshole god knows how many people have been affected mentally.
— Alan Harris 🇨🇦 (@AlanWharris) August 31, 2018
The subway station connected to the major mall had been shut down, according to the Toronto Transit Commission. Speaking with a local news station, a woman who was having coffee with her daughter said she heard a loud bang. She explained that she thought the sound just came from a balloon popping.
“We looked over and saw a bunch of panic, people running,” the woman stated. “Then we heard a second shot and we had to find cover… There was a little girl who was just clenched onto me. I had no idea who this little girl was.”
Cop asked the mother and daughter to go to an open area shortly after. “I was scared for my daughter’s life,” she further said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen during that run.”
Although no one was injured, a baby had reportedly been knocked out of a stroller amid the panic. Meanwhile, another witness from a dessert shot said she heard two shots before people started to panic. She also confirmed that she saw a baby get knocked down.
“Yorkdale is secure and we are co-operating with police to safely evacuate the centre,” the mall tweeted after the incident. “We expect to open as scheduled tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.”