Taste of the Danforth organizers call mass shooting 'senseless act'

Toronto Police have confirmed that two victims of a brazen shooting in the city's Greektown have died. Authorities also confirm the suspected shooter was killed.

Organizers for the Taste of the Danforth, an annual summer food festival scheduled to take place in three weeks, say the neighbourhood is in a state of shock and called the mass shooting that left three dead and many others injured a “senseless act.”

“Everyone in the neighbourhood is in a state of shock. This is a family-friendly area that welcomes people to dine and enjoy the atmosphere where these types of things don’t happen,” said Howard Lichtman, Taste of the Danforth spokesman, in a statement to Global News.

“Unfortunately, this senseless act can happen anywhere and this time it happened on the Danforth.”

LISTEN: Howard Lichtman on the Danforth Avenue shooting 

Investigators said two civilians were killed after a 29-year-old man fired shots along Danforth Avenue between Pape and Broadview avenues Sunday evening.

The Special Investigations Unit said the suspect fired at groups of people several times. The man was later found dead following an exchange of gunfire with police.

READ MORE: What we know about the suspect in Toronto Danforth mass shooting

Authorities have not released any information about the motive of the shooting.

A video posted on social media showed the alleged shooter walking along a sidewalk before drawing a gun away.

READ MORE: Toronto shooting video shows alleged Danforth Avenue shooter pulling gun and shots heard

Lichtman said the Taste of the Danforth festival, which draws millions of visitors annually during the three-day event, has a security plan in place and will consult with police if added security is necessary.

“The Festival always has a comprehensive security plan and a significant police presence, in addition to private security,” Lichtman said.

“We have great support and communication with the police and we will consult with them as to whether they think anything else needs to be done.”

Community and political leaders quickly denounced the proliferation of guns in the city following the shooting.

“Why do we need them? I don’t really understand that,” Coun. Mary Fragedakis said.

“This is not that kind of culture you know? If you’re living in a rural community and you need it because you hunt or because there’s wild animals, that’s one thing, but this is a city and Canadians cities, there’s no need for guns.”

VIDEO: Toronto police confirm suspect in Danforth killed following ‘exchange of gunfire’ with police

Coun. Paula Fletcher said the Danforth community is heartbroken but remains resilient.

“Terrifying for everybody who was there, terrifying for the neighbourhood, the people who spend their nights walking this beautiful street and for people to be hurt and for people to be killed is unfathomable,” Fletcher said.

“I know they’ll be on the Danforth but just trying to take it all in is going to very difficult over the next couple of days.”

VIDEO: Mayor Tory issues statement following Danforth shooting, urges public to not jump to conclusions

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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