Sept. 12 (UPI) — Authorities in Eastern Canada said a suspected gunman was pronounced dead following a shooting spree throughout the Greater Toronto Area on Monday that saw two people killed, including a police officer, and several others wounded.
The 48-year-old was shot dead early Monday afternoon at a Tim Hortons in the GTA city of Mississauga, located just west of Toronto.
Hong, a 22-year veteran of the Toronto police force, was in Peel region for training and had stopped at the coffee shop while on his lunch break when he was shot dead at close range, Ramer said.
“This is devastating news for his family and for all members of the Toronto Police Service and our entire policing community,” Ramer said. “We will lean on each other while we work to support Const. Hong’s family, and each other, in our grief.”
The shooting rampage spanned at least two regions of the GTA, resulting in the death of at least one other person and the wounding of three others. The suspect was then taken into police custody deceased a few hours later in the city of Hamilton.
“The violence we’ve seen today and we witnessed will no doubt have a long-term impact not just on the citizens of this community but also the policing community,” Chief Nishan Duraiappah of Peel Regional Police said during the press conference. “It’s during tragic events like these that we all recognize that we need to pull together.”
Duraiappah said the shooting spree began about 2:15 p.m. when Hong was shot and killed “in an ambush attack” at the Mississauga coffee shop located at Argentina Road and Winston Churchill Boulevard.
A second person at the location was also shot and transferred to a GTA trauma center suffering from what Duraiappah described as “life-altering gunshot injuries.”
Authorities said the armed suspect then fled the scene in a black Jeep Cherokee, prompting Peel Regional Police to issue a provincial-wide alert, which identified the suspect as 30-year-old Shawn Petry.
Police in Halton then received reports of a shooting believed to have been carried out by Petry in the GTA town of Milton, resulting in one person killed at the scene and two others wounded. Authorities said one was listed in critical condition while the other was in serious condition.
At about 4 p.m., authorities in Hamilton learned Petry was in the city and was confronted by police.
Hamilton police chief Frank Bergen told reporters in a separate briefing that the suspect was dead following a shooting at a local cemetery. He would not say if he died by police gunfire but the Special Investigations Unit has invoked its mandate, which occurs when police actions result in serious injury or death.
“I would like to reassure the public that there is no longer a risk,” he said.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie issued a statement late Monday, stating she was in “utter shock” following the series of shootings.
“Police are working diligently across jurisdictions to find answers as to how and why these events transpired,” she said, while encouraging anyone who witnessed the attacks to contact their local crisis support center.
“My heart breaks for [Hong’s] wife, two children, his parents, friends and fellow officers,” she added. “May he Rest in Peace.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford also issued a statement expressing his gratitude to law enforcement for bringing the shooting spree to an end.
“Like all Ontarians, I’m horrified by today’s senseless violence, including the killing of a Toronto police officer,” he said. “May justice for those killed and injured be swift.”
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