Toronto Police Seek 4th Person in Raptors Rally Shooting

June 19, 2019 Updated: June 19, 2019

TORONTO—Police are looking for a fourth person and haven’t recovered the gun involved in a shooting at a rally for the NBA champion Raptors that wounded four people and sent thousands fleeing, authorities said on June 18.

Toronto Police Chief Marc Saunders said they are looking for a male who was wearing a white button-down T-shirt at Monday’s shooting at city hall square, less than a block from where the players and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat on stage.

Toronto Police secure a crime scene after shots were fired during the Toronto Raptors NBA basketball championship parade in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Andrew Lahodynskyj/The Canadian Press via AP)

Police arrested three people who are now facing firearm charges, but the shell casings at the scene didn’t match two guns seized. Shaquille Anthony Miller, 25, Abdikarim Kerow, 18, and Thaino Toussaint, 20 have been charged and made brief bail hearing appearances on Monday.

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First responders attend to an injured person after shots were fired during the Toronto Raptors NBA basketball championship victory celebration near Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press via AP)

Droves of Raptors fans ran from the shooting in a stampede from the City Hall square, which was packed with tens of thousands of people. Earlier Monday, well over a million fans packed downtown Toronto for a parade for the Raptors, raising concerns about safety and overcrowding as the city celebrated its first major sports title in more than a quarter-century.

Mark Saunders said four people suffered gunshot wounds but said none of the injuries were life-threatening. Others suffered minor injuries as they tried to get away from the shooting, said Saunders, who asked for witnesses and people who might have video to come forward and help investigators.

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An ambulance arrives to the scene after shots were fired during the Toronto Raptors NBA basketball championship victory celebration near Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press via AP)

During a speech from one of the team owners, the host of the rally interrupted the proceedings to alert the crowd to an emergency and asked for calm. Trudeau, Toronto Mayor John Tory, NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, and other players were among those on stage at the time.

“I want to make sure everyone stays calm,” said the host, sportscaster Matt Devlin. “This is serious. Everyone stay calm … There is an emergency being dealt with.”

Those on stage remained in place and speeches resumed shortly after.

“I hope all those injured in today’s shooting have a speedy recovery, and I’d like to thank the Toronto police for acting so quickly,” Trudeau tweeted. “We won’t let this act of violence take away from the spirit of today’s parade.”

There were at least four abandoned strollers in the square, indicating parents may have grabbed their children and run. Shoes, clothing, and bags were left behind. An entire nearby intersection was cordoned off with police tape.

Tory, the mayor, thanked the police for their quick response and said he was angered by the shooting.

“It is disappointing and I’m sure a source of anger for more than just me that anyone would carry a gun and discharge it at what was otherwise a joyous celebration,” Tory said in a statement. “I hope those found responsible will be held to account to the full extent that the law permits. I want to commend and thank the millions of other people who happily and peacefully celebrated our beloved Toronto Raptors.”

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Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry holds the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy up for the fans during the NBA basketball championship team’s victory parade in Toronto, on June 17, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Fans cheer during the Toronto Raptors NBA basketball championship victory parade in Toronto, on June 17, 2019. (Andrew Lahodynskyj/The Canadian Press via AP)

Canada’s biggest city, with a population of 2.9 million, is considered one of the safest cities in North America.

Tory previously urged every city resident to come celebrate the Raptors’ first championship and declared Monday as “We The North Day,” after the franchise’s slogan.

Some 1.5 million fans withstood packed conditions to attend the parade. Nicolas Caramanna, 21, said the crowd started to get rowdy shortly after he arrived at 9 a.m.

By Rob Gillies and Ian Harrison

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