TORONTO – Four people were shot and wounded at a rally on Monday for NBA champion Raptors, and two people were arrested, police said.
Flocks of Raptor fans ran away from shots in a rush from Town Hall Square, which was filled with tens of thousands of fans. An estimated 1.5 million fans had previously gathered in downtown Toronto for a raptors' parade with concerns over safety and overcrowding.
Mark Saunders, Toronto Police Chief, said four people had gunshot wounds, but none of the injuries were life-threatening. Others had minor injuries as they tried to break away from the shootings, Saunders said, asking for witnesses and people who may have a video to help investigators.
"We have people arrested with firearms, and that's the beginning of the investigation," Saunders said.
Asked whether it was a targeted shoot-out or terrorist action, police spokeswoman Allison Sparkes said the investigation was ongoing.
During a speech by one of the team owners, the host of the rally interrupted the procedure to alert the crowd to an emergency, and asked for calm. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Toronto's mayor John Tory, NBA final MVP Kawhi Leonard and other Raptors players were on stage at the time.
"I want to make sure everyone stays calm," said host, sports specialist Matt Devlin. "That's serious. Everyone stays calm … an emergency is dealt with. "
Those on stage stayed in place and the speeches resumed shortly thereafter.
Mike Mudidi said he had enjoyed the celebrations when he did screams heard behind him that someone had pulled a gun and he said he froze when people started to run in all directions.
"I just grabbed the hands of my friends and ran," he said. 1
"They could not see the shooter, but it was That kind of mess you only expect to see someone come around the corner. It was such a mood, said D & Souza.
Another fan said the onslaught was scary.
"When you see a bunch of people approaching you, you put on clothes I do not know what to do, whether I should walk or not, they do not want to be stamped," said Sam Sunday.
Trudeau's spokeswoman refused to comment on the shootings near the prime minister.
"We never comment on issues related to the security of the Prime Minister, Eleanore Catenaro said.
Tory, the mayor, thanked the police for their swift response.
" It's disappointing and I'm sure That's more than I'm mad at, when someone wears a gun and drops it on something else. It was a happy party otherwise, "Tory said in a statement. "I hope those responsible will be held fully accountable, as far as the law permits, and I want to thank the millions of others who have happily and peacefully celebrated our beloved Toronto Raptors." Residents of the city celebrate the first Raptors championship and declare Monday after the motto of the franchise for "We The North Day".
Toronto, more than a million of us have flooded the streets today to celebrate our raptors. Joe Cressy, City Council, tweeted: "People of all ages, races, religions – our city, no matter how awful the shooting was and scary to many in the crowd afterward, do not miss it."
Fans stopped Nicolas Caramanna, 21, said that the crowd began to get upset shortly after arriving at 9am
"I am very hot and tired, but I will stay here." he said, "Will you get a chance?"
Many others chose to miss school or work, and 15-year-old Cypher Sabanal said his mother had let him go to class to attend the celebration.  John Moreira was ill to attend Toronto's first such event since the Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993.
"I told my boss I wanted to attend the parade and he said he could not Do a lot when I get sick. That's what I did, "said the 31-year-old 19659002] As the parade, recognizable by the schedule, moved forward, some Raptors could not help but wonder at the fans' reaction.
" It was amazing, "said Leonard." Thanks, Toronto, thanks, Canada, for the support. We've made it. "
Several fans carried signs to Leonard to call the Raptors again, and he will be a free agent this summer.
"This is unbelievable," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to the report.