Police, leaders seek answers after bullets fly at tot’s birthday party

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Inconceivable. Unacceptable. Disturbing. Beyond comprehension.

These are some of the words coming from police and leaders of all levels of government in the aftermath of a horrific daylight shooting during a toddler’s outdoor birthday at a Rexdale townhouse complex on Saturday night.

A man and three children were injured.

A five-year-old girl who was shot in the head was in stable condition on Sunday afternoon after being in life-threatening condition.

The girl was shot in the head and was one of four victims hit by bullets at the front-yard party for a one-year-old on Tandridge Cr. in the Albion Rd.-Islington Ave. area.

An 11-year-old who was shot in the buttocks and a 23-year-old — shot in the leg — were also taken to hospital.

A bullet grazed the one-year-old whose birthday was being celebrated. The infant was treated at the scene.

Toronto Police say they are looking for multiple suspects and do not have a motive.

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Supt. Ron Taverner said a number of gunmen came forward and started firing into the party crowd.

“I’ve been a police officer for a number of years and the most disturbing scenes are when young people are shot,” said Taverner, adding it’s not believed the young people were targets.

“We have the resources to solve this crime and we will,” he insisted. “It is so important for people to come forward. We need the help of the community.”

A married couple, Joe and Sue (not their real names), were sitting in their garage on Tandridge Cr. and said they saw the armed assailants on the sidewalk.

A Toronto Police officer walks past a balloon birthday display. JACK BOLAND/TORONTO SUN
A Toronto Police officer walks past a balloon birthday display. JACK BOLAND/TORONTO SUN

“They ran south on Tandridge to the dumpsters and then came back and went to the party and there were about 12 shots. I thought it was firecrackers at first, and then you could tell it wasn’t,” Joe said on Sunday.

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“Then they came back and got into a car parked on the street and took off.”

Joe said he was able to give a partial plate number to police.

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“The car or the plates could have been stolen, though,” he said.

Sue said they didn’t want to give their names because they “didn’t want to be next.”

“We have had our fair share of trouble around here,” she said.

A Toronto Police officer walks past a balloon birthday display. JACK BOLAND/TORONTO SUN
A Toronto Police officer walks past a balloon birthday display. JACK BOLAND/TORONTO SUN

Toronto Mayor John Tory called the incident “outrageous” and said the gunmen need to be tracked down.

“Firing a gun anywhere, anytime in the City of Toronto is unacceptable. Doing so at a child’s birthday party goes way beyond that,” Tory said in a statement Sunday.

Premier Doug Ford tweeted the shooting was “inconceivable and beyond comprehension” and said “my heart breaks for these young innocent victims of this senseless tragedy.”

Toronto Police officers sift through dumpsters down the block from where a multi-victim shooting occurred at a double birthday celebration at a housing complex on Tandridge Cres. off of Albion Rd. at 8 p.m. Saturday. JACK BOLAND/TORONTO SUN
Toronto Police officers sift through dumpsters down the block from where a multi-victim shooting occurred at a double birthday celebration at a housing complex on Tandridge Cres. off of Albion Rd. at 8 p.m. Saturday. JACK BOLAND/TORONTO SUN

Ford added in a statement: “No one who engages in this kind of heinous gun violence should get away unpunished. The perpetrators must be found and brought to justice.”

Kirsty Duncan, the PC MP who represents the riding where the shooting took place, said she was “horrified” by what happened.

“What should have been a happy day became a terrible tragedy. It is unconscionable,” Duncan said on social media.

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