Canada: 5 injured in mosque shooting in Toronto
By Seyit Aydogan & Ahmed J Versi
TORONTO, Canada (AA & The Muslim News): Five people were injured in a mosque shooting Saturday in the Toronto area of Canada, according to police sources.
A group of men, who had finished midnight prayers [taraweeh] during the holy month of Ramadan, was randomly attacked in a drive-by shooting in the area of Markham Road and Lawrence Avenue East, the Scarborough district, said Toronto Police Department spokesperson David Rydzik.
At least six shots were fired but it remains unknown how many suspects were involved in the shooting, he said.
“We are unable to say whether the victims were targeted because of their religious beliefs,” said Rydzik.
“While they were here and just getting ready to leave, shots rang out. And unfortunately five individuals were struck by those bullets from what we believe came from perhaps a vehicle on Markham Road that was traveling by,” Rydzik said at a news conference Saturday afternoon.
“Three of those five have been released from hospital right now and the other two are expected to make a very good recovery,” Rydzik said.
“We do believe that the suspects were in a vehicle that was traveling by but we are working very hard gathering surveillance video footage to try and corroborate that so at this point in time I can’t say for certain what vehicle was used in this particular shooting, nor do I have a suspect description at this time,” Rydzik added.
Meanwhile, Nadeem Sheikh, board member of the Scarborough Muslim Association said he is concerned about the shooting.
“I’m really upset and worried. I’m concerned. Five mature, grown, family-oriented men were shot this morning,” Sheikh said.
“We call upon our local police authorities that we’ve been working with closely, our local governments, that they apply every resource possible to apprehend these suspects and to curb the gun violence in this community as well as every other community in Toronto,” he added.
He urged authorities to do their best to bring the perpetrators before authorities and said more steps should be taken to curb gun violence.
* Writing by Ahmet Gencturk in Ankara
[Map of Canada by CIA/Public Domain]