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2 killed, 13 injured in Toronto shooting; gunman dead

TORONTO -- Two people were killed and 13 others injured when a man fired a handgun into restaurants and cafes in Toronto before dying after an exchange of gunfire with police. Police Chief Mark Saunders did not rule out terrorism as a motive, though a law enforcement official told CBS News there is no indication at this time that the shooting is terrorism-related.

Saunders said an 18-year-old woman was killed along with a 10-year-old girl. Authorities have not identified the attacker, other than saying he was 29 years old.

The other victims have injuries ranging from minor to serious, Saunders said. They range in age from 10 to 59.

Three of the victims underwent immediate, life-saving surgery, said Dr. Najma Ahmed, a trauma surgeon at St. Michael's Hospital. She said all five patients being treated at the hospital were in serious and critical condition.

"It's almost inconceivable that these things can happen," said Mayor John Tory. "We were so used to living in a city where these things didn't happen and as we saw them going on in the world around us (we) thought they couldn't happen here."

"Why does anyone in this city need to have a gun at all?" Tory said.

A bomb disposal robot is seen deployed within the police cordon near the scene of a mass shooting in Toronto
Bomb disposal robot is seen deployed within police cordon near scene of mass shooting in Toronto late on July 23, 2018 CHRIS HELGREN / REUTERS

A video from one witness shows a man dressed in black clothes and a black hat walking quickly and firing three shots from the sidewalk into at least one shop or restaurant in Toronto's Greektown, a lively residential area with crowded Greek restaurants and cafes.

Police urged people to come forward with other video or witness testimony. 

Witnesses heard many shots and described the suspect walking past restaurants and cafes and patios on both sides of the street and firing into them.

John Tulloch said he and his brother had just gotten out of their car when he heard about 20 to 30 gunshots. "We just ran. We saw people starting to run so we just ran," he said.

People leave an area taped off by the police near the scene of a mass shooting in Toronto
People leave area taped off by police near scene of mass shooting in Toronto late on July 22, 2018 CHRIS HELGREN / REUTERS

An army of police, paramedics and other first responders soon descended on the scene, while people, some in their pajamas, emerged from their homes to see what was happening.

Toronto Councilor Paula Fletcher said during the council meeting that the attack was "not gang related" and said the gunman was shooting "indiscriminately" into restaurants and into a park.

Mass shootings are rare in Canada's largest city. This past weekend Toronto police deployed dozens of additional officers to deal with a recent rise in gun violence in the city, which has seen 23 gun homicides so far this year, compared to 16 fatal shootings in the first half of 2017.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to victims on Twitter: "The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave - and we'll be there to support you through this difficult time."

In April, the driver of a van plowed into pedestrians on a Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people and injuring 14. Authorities have not disclosed a motive. But they have said the arrested driver, Alek Minassian, posted a message on social media referencing a misogynistic online community before the attack.

Pat Milton contributed to this report.

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