Shots were heard inside the mall on Sunday and a 21-year-old has now been charged.
Toronto Police have charged a 21-year-old man after gunshots were fired at Yorkdale Mall on Sunday afternoon.
On August 29 at 3:38 p.m., police were called to Yorkdale Mall after numerous people reported hearing gunshots, TPS confirmed in a news release today. Toronto Police confirmed to Narcity that the shots were fired inside the mall.
The mall went into lockdown, and officers from the emergency task force and K9 unit cleared the area and its surrounding businesses, rendering the scene safe. Shoppers inside the mall were escorted out safely and reunited with their friends and families.
Two shoppers who were at the mall during the ordeal shared their experience with us.
"It was a bit scary and confusing, being locked up for hours in a stock room without knowing exactly what was happening outside," Oscar Daboin, a Latin musician, told Narcity via Instagram. "The worst thing is that at the time we had family who were in other stores when the situation started, and not knowing if they were okay."
"Many of the people who were next to us were elderly and began to feel panic and [anxiety] attacks for not knowing what was happening outside until we read the news with our phones that the police forces were already in place," Daboin continued. "Definitely a bad day for shopping."
Shopper Akku Maria Boban was inside a clothing store when suddenly, staff began "running to their meeting room" and closing off the store's entry and exit doors. Boban told Narcity that those locked inside the store for a "few hours" didn't know what was happening until they found out through social media.
"When they [mall staff] opened the door, we were so happy, and some people were running to the exit," Boban said.
Police confirmed that at this time, there are no reported injuries due to the gunshots.
"Officers arrived immediately on [the] scene, and with the assistance of mall security, were able to arrest one man nearby," police said in the news release. "A loaded Glock-19 firearm was recovered as well as ammunition."
The man was charged with unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a loaded prohibited firearm, possession of a prohibited device knowing its possession is unauthorized, possession of a firearm contrary to prohibition order, discharge firearm with intent to wound and endanger life, and three counts of assault. Officers will not be releasing his name at this time due to "investigative reasons."
"The safety of our employees and customers is our top priority," William Correia, Director of Yorkdale Shopping Centre, told Narcity via email. "There is no place for gun violence in our city, let alone in shopping centres. Toronto Police Services responded quickly and any questions must be directed to them, as this [is] an active investigation. Yorkdale has excellent surveillance technology, and we are working closely with Toronto Police Services to support the investigation."