Posted on August 2, 2011

Toronto Police Involved in Caribbean Fest Shooting

CBC News, August 1, 2011

Toronto police officers “interacted” with three men ahead of a fatal shooting and wounding of two others after this weekend’s Caribbean Carnival parade in Toronto, the province’s Special Investigations Unit says.

A 30-year-old Toronto man died and two other people were hospitalized after the incident.

The deceased has been identified, but his name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, according to police. A post-mortem in Toronto is scheduled for Monday morning.

The SIU, a civilian agency that investigates situations involving police and civilians that lead to a serious injury or death, said police were called to an area near the parade after receiving a report of a disturbance involving three men.

“Officers interacted with the men and shots were fired,” the SIU said in a news release early Sunday.

No more details about the shooting were released. It is unclear whether the officers involved fired the bullets that killed the man or wounded the others.

Emergency services officials said two people–the 30-year-old male and a 21-year-old Pickering woman–suffered multiple gunshot wounds, while the third male victim, an 18-year-old from Toronto, was injured in the eye.

The SIU said one man and the woman were taken to St. Mike’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The woman underwent surgery on Saturday night.

The man with the eye injury was admitted to Toronto General Hospital.

The SIU said it had assigned six investigators and three forensics investigators to the incident. Interviews with 16 civilian witnesses were progressing, the SIU said.

Festival CEO Denise Herrera Jackson said in a statement on the carnival’s website that organizers are deeply saddened by the loss of life.

“Our festival is about love and community, and to have this happen so close to our event is devastating,” Jackson said in the statement.

“We work so hard to make our event safe and family friendly, it is unthinkable that such a thing could happen.”

[Editor’s Note: The happenings at the Canadian Caribbean Festival are strangely similar to the chaos that broke out at the Washington, DC, Caribbean Festival.]