RAPTORS CELEBRATORY RALLY MARRED BY SHOOTING NEAR NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE
Jun 17, 2019
By Maria Madden
A day of celebration, marred by violence in downtown Toronto.
According to Toronto Police chief, Mark Saunders, four people were injured and two others arrested, following a shooting near Nathan Philips Square while the Toronto Raptors were on stage at a massive rally being held in their honor.
The victims have been transported to hospital with injuries that have been described as serious but not life threatening.
The festivities were briefly suspended as one of the hosts alerted the crowd that there was an emergency and urged the public to stay calm.
But the events quickly resumed, even as dozens of fans stampeded in multiple directions from the scene near Bay and Albert Streets. A number of minor injuries were reported as a result of the panic.
The ceremony wrapped up shortly after and police now say that there is no further threat to the public following the incident.
Police are urging anyone with video or other information about the shooting to contact investigators and in a written statement the Mayor John Tory wished the victims a “quick recovery” while thanking the Toronto Police for the quick response.
Despite the ugly end to the day, it was overall, a day of massive celebration and city spokesman Brad Ross says more than a million people were gathered in and around the area of Nathan Phillips Square.
The team arrived at the square three hours later than scheduled, after the large number of people lining the parade route from Exhibition Place made it difficult for the double decker buses carrying the team to get through.
All levels of government were among those gathered in front of City Hall to greet the team when they eventually arrived, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford among those on stage with with the players as they addressed the massive crowd.
The mayor meanwhile marked the occasion by renaming Bremner Blvd, Raptors Way and by presenting the entire basketball team with the key to the city of Toronto.