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Vaughan condo shooting: Gunman who shot dead five in Canada was 73

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    1 hour ago

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Image source, Reuters

A day after a man shot five dead in a Toronto apartment complex, police are releasing some details about the suspect.

But the answer to the most pressing question has not been disclosed: what would prompt a 73-year-old to go from apartment to apartment and shoot residents.

The alleged gunman, a resident in the building, was shot and killed by police at the scene.

The victims have not been identified.

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York Region police first responded to reports of a shooting at an apartment building in Vaughan, about 30km (19 miles) north of Toronto, at 19:20 (12:20 GMT) on Sunday.

Police chief Jim MacSween said officers found a “horrendous scene” when they arrived, with numerous deceased victims found in different apartments of the building.

At a press conference on Monday, a spokesperson for Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which probes police-involved deaths, said officers shot the alleged gunman in a hallway.

The spokesperson, Kristy Denette, added that the gunman used a semi-automatic handgun in the shooting.

Police said they are now working to identify those who were killed.

“We’re in the process right now of doing notifications to those families, so at this point I can’t share any information on the victims or the subject,” Chief MacSween said.

Another injured person has been taken to hospital in a serious condition.

A local Toronto transit union, ATU Local 113, identified one of the surviving victims as Doreen DiNino, wife of ATU Canada president John DiNino.

“We are grateful to learn that she has survived this horrific incident and is undergoing emergency surgery today,” the statement said.

Authorities are investigating the motive, including a possible connection between the gunman and the victims.

Police chief MacSween said there was no ongoing threat to the public, and York police said those evacuated could return to their homes.

Speaking to local media, residents described feeling shocked that a shooting rampage took place in their otherwise quiet neighbourhood.

“I feel pretty safe here so I’m pretty shocked to hear something like this happened,” Jordan Bennett, a resident in the building, told CBC News.

Condolences have poured in from politicians, including Vaughan mayor Stephen Del Duca and Ontario premier Doug Ford.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also offered his condolences to the families in a tweet, writing “I’m keeping you in my thoughts.”

“To the person who was injured: I’m wishing you a fast and full recovery,” Mr Trudeau added. “And to the first responders: Thank you for your hard work and your professionalism.”

While it has fewer mass shootings than the US, Canada has seen several recent high-profile violent incidents as of late.

In 2020, the country’s worst mass shooting in history unfolded in the province of Nova Scotia, where a gunman disguised as a policeman killed 22 people.

Canada’s government has since introduced new legislation that will put a ban in place on the purchasing and importing of handguns and “assault-style” firearms in Canada, increase penalties for firearms smuggling and trafficking, and establish a so-called “red flag” law that would allow guns to be temporarily seized from people who pose a risk to themselves and others, among other measures.

Mr Trudeau said the legislation was put forward “to make sure that guns that are designed to kill the largest number of people as quickly as possible have no place in Canada.”

The move has been criticised by some, including Canadian hunters who argue it could affect several rifles and shotguns primarily used for hunting and sport.

Others have said the law doesn’t address the issue of illegal weapons smuggling into Canada – a majority of which cross through the US-Canada border.

The legislation is currently before a parliamentary committee. Mr Trudeau announced a national freeze on the sale, purchase and transfer of handguns earlier this year as a stopgap until the bill is passed.

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