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3 dead, including gunman, after shooting in Toronto office space: police

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The gunman who killed a man and a woman is among the deceased after a triple shooting inside an office space near a daycare and a school in North York on Monday afternoon, according to police.

The incident happened in the lobby of a building near Don Mills and Mallard roads, south of York Mills Road.

Toronto police said they were called to that area shortly before 3:30 p.m. for reports of a shooting.

Speaking with the media at the scene on Monday evening, Det.-Sgt. Alan Bartlett, of the Homicide and Missing Persons Unit, said that officers entered a building and located two males and a female, adding that the shooter is believed to be among the deceased.

"We're still in the process of notifying next of kin," he said, adding it's too early to say what relationship may have existed between the three individuals.

Det.-Sgt. Al Bartlett, of Toronto police’s Homicide and Missing Persons Unit, speaks to reporters following a fatal triple shooting in North York on June 17.

Bartlett said they believe that an altercation took place inside "some sort of financial transaction" business prior to shots being fired.

He said that four individuals, a couple of whom work together, were inside the building at that time.

An individual inside the premises called the police, Bartlett said.

Sharhokh Biniyaz, a graphic designer and photographer, has a studio down the hall from where the shooting occurred.

Biniyaz told CTV News Toronto that he heard gunshots and people arguing followed by another gunshot a couple of minutes later. At that point, he fled the building and called 911.

Once police arrived, he said he heard more shots.

“We heard four, five, maybe six shots, one after the other, and that was it,” he said.

Biniyaz and others at the scene have identified one of the victims as a local mortgage broker named Arash Missaghi.

Police at the scene of a shooting in Toronto’s Don Mills neighbourhood on Monday afternoon

A large police presence could be seen in the area following the shooting, including outside Northmount School, an independent all-boys Catholic school at 26 Mallard Rd.

The school was temporarily placed under a lockdown late Monday afternoon along with St. George Mini School & Infant Care, which operates two centres in a nearby building.

TTC buses were made available for students while they waited for their parents and caregivers to arrive.

Late Monday afternoon, CP24's cameras captured several young children from the daycare being wheeled outside in cribs and reunited with their parents and guardians.

Sarah Ashfield, the daycare’s supervisor, told CP24 that she was informed by the police of the nearby incident and as per protocol they instituted an immediate lockdown.

“We turned off all our lights. The kids were in the corner waiting until we got further direction,” she said.

Ashfield said she stood outside the door of the building the entire time waiting for updates and guidance from the police on next steps. Once given the all clear, she said that they then began bringing the children out to their parents and guardians. Pickup lasted until about 6 p.m., she said.

St. George provides care for children age 0 to 4 years old.

 

Ashfield said about 104 children were on site on Monday.

 

The daycare is expected to open as usual at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, she added. “The kids didn’t really know much (about) what was happening,” Ashfield said.

“We kept calm and all of the kids are safe, and they’re on their way home now … that’s all that matters.”

The Emergency Task Force and the Canine Unit have since cleared the daycare and the school. 

Bartlett also noted that there is no access between the business where the shooting took place and the daycare.

'We feel very unsafe'

CP24 spoke with a number of worried parents waiting to pick up their kids from the daycare.

One couple who was waiting for their 21-month-old daughter to be brought out of the daycare said that they rushed over.

“We feel very unsafe,” the parents said.

“We came to Canada because we know it’s a very safe country,” added the husband.

Among those waiting outside the daycare for word about their children was another mother and grandfather of a one-year old child.

“Of course I’m very uncomfortable and anxious to see my kid, as all parents are, I’m sure,” the mom said moments before a tearful reunion with her daughter.

Another mother named Michelle who has two children at the daycare, a two-year-old and a three-year-old, said she was "very anxious" to see her kids.

“I want my kids back. I know they are safe. We’ve been told that they are safe, but I want my kids back,” she said.

Parents of children at a North York daycare are shown being reunited with their children after shots were fired in the neighbourhood on Monday afternoon.

 

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow offered her condolences to the families of those killed in Monday’s triple shooting.

 

“My heart goes out to the families of the lives lost in Don Mills today,” she wrote in a post on X.

 

“Today has been a terrifying day for students and children who were locked down in the school and daycare near where the shooting took place.”

 

Chow went on to say that Toronto police are investigating, adding that the Community Crisis Response Program has been mobilized to support community members.

 

She urged anyone with information to contact 33 Division at 416-808-3300 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or www.222tips.com.

 

The investigation is ongoing.

 

With files from CTV News Toronto's Sean Leathong and The Canadian Press.

 

 

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