Canada is well-known for hockey, cold weather, and, perhaps most foreign to those of us in the states, an extremely low crime rate. It was famously documented in Michael Moore’s “Bowling For Columbine” that many Canadians don’t even keep their doors locked, and while that sort of trusting mentality surely doesn’t go for every citizen, it does illustrate the general feeling of safety held by Canadians.
Perhaps that’s why, when a shooting occurred at a large outdoor event in Toronto yesterday, people were completely shocked and left fearing what it means for the future of their city. The incident left two people dead–a teenage girl and a young man in his 20’s–and injured 19 others, including a baby. Officials are calling it the biggest crime they’ve ever seen.
“It is the most serious crime of its kind that has ever taken place in the city of Toronto,” police chief Bill Blair said. “The level of violence is something we have never experienced.”
Blair stated that there were handguns involved, one of which was recovered at the scene; they know more than one person was responsible for firing shots, but aren’t sure yet just how many. He did say that the shooting was “unprecedented” in Canada’s history; however, a recent incident of gun violence in a Toronto mall left one man dead and several people injured when someone opened fire in the food court. While that shooting wasn’t as big in scope as the more recent one, people are clearly shocked that their city is amping up the crime rate.