Shoppers, workers, return to Toronto mall where shooting took place

In the wake of the Yorkdale Mall Shooting on Thursday, Toronto Police Superintendent Rob Johnson. photo by Mike chikoski, Superior Media/ONNtv Director, Producer.

TORONTO — Shoppers and employees returned Friday to a popular Toronto mall where a shooting triggered a frantic evacuation a day earlier, while police continued to search for multiple suspects in the incident.

No one was injured in the gunfire at Yorkdale Shopping Centre on Thursday afternoon, but the sprawling facility was shut down as officers combed the area for evidence.

Police said an altercation between two groups of men in the mall led to one man firing a gun at least twice. The shooting caused panicked shoppers and store employees to scramble for cover, with hundreds eventually rushing out of the large building.

Lime Pinga, a manager at clothing retailer Maje, said operations appeared to have returned to normal by Friday morning.

“We are pretty OK,” he said, noting that his supervisor had told workers they could access counselling services through a third-party company if they needed to.

Pinga, who was not at the mall at the time of the shooting, said the team of workers who had been at the store during Thursday’s incident were not working Friday morning.

Several shoppers who had been at the mall at the time of the shooting took to social media to express their gratitude to store workers who had helped them seek shelter.

shoppers took refuge together as police cleared Yorkdale Shopping Centre on Thursday, August 30, 2018.
photo by Canada Press

“A huge shoutout and thanks to the staff of #ladurée at #Yorkdalemall,” Nilab Ferozan tweeted. “Thanks for making us feel calm and safe.”

“Thanks to the employees at @Bose #yorkdalemall for allowing us to hide in their store, keeping calm, sharing information,” Jenna Keane wrote.

Police said Friday evening that they had identified a suspect in the incidnet and a warrant has been issued for a 20-year-old Toronto man on a charge of discharging a firearm with intent.

Thursday’s incident was the latest in a string of high-profile shootings in the city this year.

In July two people were killed in a rampage in Toronto’s Greektown, a month earlier two young girls were wounded in a shooting at a playground, and days later a woman on her way home from a funeral died in a drive by-shooting police called indicative of a “street gang subculture.”

Gabriele Roy, The Canadian Press