Sunday night’s shooting at a condo in a Toronto suburb left five people dead, according to police. This “awful” incident occurred as Canada worked to tighten its gun control legislation. Police discovered a “horrendous scene where several people were slain” at the residential building in Vaughan, to the north of Toronto, after responding to an active shooting call at 7:20 p.m., said York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween during a press conference. According to the chief, a 73-year-old male gunman was fatally shot by an officer during a standoff.
The event, according to police officer Laura Nicolle, was the “most awful call I’ve witnessed in my whole career,” she told CNN. Authorities named the culprit as 73-year-old building resident Francesco Villi. Villi passed away on the third floor after interacting with police, according to York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween, who spoke at a news conference on Monday.
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According to MacSween, the five victims were discovered in three apartments and resided in the structure. Three of the victims were condo board members, but the reason for the shooting is still under investigation, MacSween said, adding that the inquiry is still underway. At this time, police withhold the victims’ names but have confirmed that three males and two women perished.
In addition, a 66-year-old woman who was the sixth victim was critically hurt and is still in the hospital, according to MacSween. At this point, her identity is kept a secret. While emergency responders cleared the building and ensured no other victims, residents were evacuated. Police had evacuated the building floor by floor, and the residents finally went home after midnight.
Police did not disclose a motive for the shooting spree or the events that preceded the fatalities. Authorities firmly feel that the neighborhood is no longer in danger. We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims’ families, MacSween stated. According to MacSween, the homicide unit of the York Regional Police will keep looking into the shooting.
In a release, the Special Investigations Unit of Ontario, contacted when police shoot at a person, stated that it is looking into the incident. Sunday’s deaths follow recent government initiatives to strengthen gun control regulations in Canada, a nation with more restrictive gun laws and significantly lower gun violence than the US. With a license, individuals may possess firearms; some must be registered.
The administration tightened restrictions even more, this year. Regulations prohibiting the sale, purchase, or transfer of firearms within Canada entered into force in October. The adjustments were introduced by Justin Trudeau, the prime minister, in May. At a news conference in Surrey, British Columbia, joined by relatives of gun violence victims and other campaigners, Trudeau declared, “We have frozen the market for handguns in this nation.”
We have a responsibility to intervene as gun violence increases, Trudeau continued. “Our nationwide handgun ban is taking effect today.” According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Canada had one-eighth of the US rate of gun homicides per 100,000 population in 2019. The US has a population of roughly 332 million people, whereas the country has about 38 million people.
Statistics Canada reported that the number of homicides in Canada increased for three years in a row beginning in 2019, with 297 killings involving firearms in 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 20,000 gun-related fatalities in the US in 2021.
In May 2020, 22 people were shot dead or perished in home fires started by a shooter in Nova Scotia, Canada’s bloodiest mass murder. Less than two weeks later, the Trudeau administration outlawed more than 1,500 different assault-style weapon models and variations, making it unlawful to use, sell, or import them.
Six police officers were hurt, and two suspects were killed in a firefight outside a bank in British Columbia in June 2022, according to authorities. Then, in July, a string of shootings in Langley, British Columbia, close to Vancouver, left two people dead and two more injured, according to authorities. In Canada’s Saskatchewan province, a mass stabbing attack in September 2022 claimed the lives of eleven people.
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