An early morning shooting in Toronto’s Bridle Path neighbourhood has left a man with life-threatening injuries, police and paramedics say.
Emergency crews were called to The Bridle Path, south of Bayview Avenue and York Mills Road, for a report of a shooting at about 6 a.m. on Sunday. The shooting occurred while the home was being rented as an Airbnb and it is believed to have occurred outside.
When officers arrived at the gated property, they found a man lying on the ground, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to his upper body. He was conscious and breathing, police said.
Toronto paramedics took the man to hospital. The man had suffered life-threatening injuries, Dave Viljakainen, deputy commander for Toronto Paramedic Services, told CBC Toronto.
Katrina Arrogante, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, said the man is now listed in stable condition in hospital.
Airbnb ‘urgently’ investigating incident
The large, luxurious home was listed on Airbnb, but the company said in an email on Sunday that the listing is no longer available on its platform and the guest who booked the property has been suspended as it “urgently” investigates.
“The reported behaviour is abhorrent,” Ben Breit, spokesperson for Airbnb, said in the email.
According to Arrogante, about 20 to 30 people were believed to be at the home at the time of the shooting and investigators are interviewing every single person who was there when police arrived.
Crowd gathering around at time of shooting
“There was a crowd that was gathering around. There was some type of gathering. I can’t confirm exactly what that gathering was for. This was at six in the morning. It was unclear at this point what was happening, but this is part of our investigation at the moment,” she said.
Investigators have found shell casings on the ground, which is evidence of gunfire, she said. Bottles of alcohol were also scattered all over the front lawn.
Emergency Task Force officers were called to the scene to ensure the area was safe and a Forensic Identification Services truck was parked outside.
Arrogante could not confirm reports that the people staying at the home were from Quebec.
She said police are still trying to confirm information about a possible suspect. No one has been arrested and no weapon has been recovered.
‘Parties, parties, parties’
Raha Ghafouri, a Bridle Path resident who lives nearby, said she heard beeping of cars at 2 a.m., loud music at 5:30 a.m., and a single gunshot at 6 a.m. She looked out her window and saw about 50 to 60 people running away.
She said some people were screaming. Some returned to gather their belongings. Shortly after that, police and ambulance arrived.
“It was kind of scary that I was living right there, and right beside me, there was somebody with a gun,” she said.
“They could have come into our backyard. They could have shot the window. There were people actually on our property, over there, fighting and hitting each other. It was so crazy.”
Her father, Ali Ghafouri, told reporters that the house has been used as an Airbnb rental for a few years and he has complained to the company because it has meant loud music until late every weekend. He has been told by a councillor that an investigation is underway.
“Parties, parties, parties,” he said. “They have to clamp on this because this cannot go on like that.”
Ghafouri, who was working when the shooting occurred, said he hopes the city finally takes action.
Mayor to speak with concerned residents
Mayor John Tory says his office has been contacted in the past about the property where the shooting occurred.
He said the residents’ concerns were referred to city staff to “take as much action as they can” under current regulations.
“In the wake of this incident, I will be speaking to the concerned residents,” Tory said.
Anyone who has cell phone or security camera video or information that might be relevant to the investigation is urged to call police.