Toronto: At least four persons sustained injuries in a shooting during the NBA championship celebration for the Toronto Raptors in downtown Toronto.
Police have arrested three persons and seized two firearms in this connection. However, it was unclear if any of the suspects were among the four injured.
According to reports, the incident took place at Bay and Albert streets near Nathan Phillips Square, that was packed with fans and locals who gathered there to celebrate Toronto Raptors’ victory over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals.
While Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was attending a ceremony, the ceremony was briefly paused to let the crowd know there was an emergency situation. Organizers urged the public to stay calm and the event resumed shortly afterwards.
After the gunfire, as spectators scattered, dozens took refuge in Osgoode Hall, a courthouse near the square, where authorities briefly held them for safety. Parents hugged their young children, many of whom were distraught and crying, reports said.
The celebration began on Monday afternoon with a parade featuring open-air double-decker buses carrying the team before arriving at Nathan Phillips Square. Revellers filled the square to capacity for the rally, which included an appearance from Trudeau.
The fact that Toronto’s victory celebration was marred by gunshots will no doubt deepen questions about how best to curb gun-related violence,authorities said.