TORONTO – Four people were shot and wounded at a rally on Monday for NBA champ Toronto Raptors, and three people were arrested, police said, with space filled with tens of thousands of people. An estimated 1.5 million fans had previously gathered in downtown Toronto for a raptors' parade with concerns over safety and overcrowding.
Toronto police chief Mark Saunders said four people had gunshot wounds, but added that none of the injuries were life threatening. Others suffered 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 Asked whether it was a targeted shootout or a terrorist action, police spokeswoman Allison Sparkes said the investigation was still ongoing The rally interrupted the process 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 at the time on stage.
"I want to make sure everyone stays calm," said host, sports hunter Matt Devlin. Everyone is calm … An emergency is being treated. "
The speeches on stage remained in place and were resumed shortly thereafter.
"I hope all the injured in today's shootings have a speedy recovery, and I want to thank the Toronto police for acting so quickly." Trudeau tweeted, "We will not allow this act to happen Violence escapes the spirit of today's parade. "
Mike Mudidi said he had enjoyed the celebrations when he heard cries of someone pulling a gun and said he froze as people ran in all directions
"I just grabbed the hands of my friends and ran," he said.
Raptors fan Phil D & # 39; Souza said the violence left a bad taste in his mouth, and he asked whether he would attend a similar event in the future.
"They could not see the shooter, but it was that kind of mess where you just expect someone to come around the corner. It was that kind of mood, & # 39; & # 39; D & # 39; Souza said.
Another fan said the onslaught was scary.
"When you see a group of people approaching you, you do not know what to do, whether you run or not, you do not want to be stamped," said Sam Sunday.
Tory, the mayor, thanked the police for their quick response.
"It's disappointing and I'm sure it's more than just a source of anger Just me, that someone wears a gun and lets them off at an otherwise happy party," Tory said in a statement I hope that those responsible will be held fully accountable, as the law allows. I want to thank the millions of others who have happily and peacefully celebrated our beloved Toronto Raptors. "
Tory previously called on all city residents to celebrate the first Raptors championship and declared Monday the" We The North Day ". "Borrowed from the franchise's slogan."
"Toronto, more than a million of us have flooded the streets today to celebrate our raptors," city councilor Joe Cressy tweeted. "People of all ages, races, religions ̵
Fans resisted Nicolas Caramanna, 21, saying the crowd had rioted shortly after his arrival at 9am
"I'm really hot and tired, but I'll stay here," he said, "when else do I get the opportunity?"
Many others wanted to miss school or work Cypher Sabanal said his mother let him drop the lesson to attend the celebration.
John Moreira I called ill to work so he could attend Toronto's first festival of this magnitude since the Blue Jays in 1993
"I told my boss that I wanted to attend the parade, and he said there was not much he could do if I called sick, and that's exactly what I did," he said 31-year-old ,
As the parade, recognizable by the schedule, moved forward, some Raptors could not help it. Marvel at the fans' response.
"It was great," Leonard said. "Thanks, Toronto, thanks, Canada, for the support, we've made it."
Several fans carried signs asking Leonard to re-sign with the Raptors, and he will be a free agent this summer.  Kyle Lowry, the team's longest reigning player, has hoisted the Larry O & Brien Trophy while his teammates were smoking cigars.
"That's unbelievable," he said.