It was another night with gun violence in the city and this time it happened inside a residential building. The Toronto Airbnb shooting at a downtown condo has left three people dead and others injured. The incident was so serious that the police chief went to the scene himself.
At 10:31 p.m. on January 31, Toronto Police first reported on Twitter that there was a shooting at Queens Wharf Road and Fort York Boulevard. At that time only one victim had been located.
Officers were called to the location at 10:21 p.m. because of the sound of gunshots.
After that, the police service upped it to four gunshot victims and a fifth that had been cut but not shot.
Three of the gunshot victims died.
This all went down during what police say was a "social gathering" at an Airbnb rental.
At the scene, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters that two men died at the scene and a third died in hospital.
"What we have right now, on a preliminary component of the investigation, is in fact that the shots fired were inside this complex. I won't give the floor at this point in time, but I can tell you that multiple floors are involved. We found people on other floors," he said.
Police originally reported that the shooter hadn't been found yet, and they were asking for help from people who may have seen what happened to figure out who is responsible.
However, during the late morning hours on February 1, acting detective sergeant Henri Marsman, a spokesperson for the Toronto Police's homicide squad, told reporters that no arrests have been made regarding the incident but that they're not looking for any suspects either.
"There are no outstanding suspects at this time," he said at the scene. "Our investigation has led us to believe right now that we have all parties involved."*
The Chief provided the following update: - Social gathering at a rented Airbnb - It is a single occurrence w/ 4 sh… https://t.co/EiNL2liPpm— Toronto Police Operations (@Toronto Police Operations)1580539082.0
2/2. Chief Saunders is encouraging witnesses to come forward. If you heard or saw anything, please contact the To… https://t.co/e5NDMmXFI1— Toronto Police Operations (@Toronto Police Operations)1580539443.0
According to Global News, the shooting began in the rental unit but it's unclear how it moved to different floors or what the reason behind it was.
"Anytime that there is gunplay, it does concern me," said Saunders.
As people learned about the shooting and started tweeting about it, Airbnb actually trended on Twitter in Canada.
One person said, "when first hearing about it I thought 'I bet it’s at an Airbnb'."
@TPSOperations airbnb again.— sabbrina (@sabbrina)1580542207.0
@TPSOperations 😢😢😢— tragicdisaster (@tragicdisaster)1580528307.0
@TPSOperations With all the condos. Hopefully they caught something on camera— fun times (@fun times)1580553110.0
@TPSOperations Absolutely horrible. And when first hearing about it I thought “I bet it’s at an Airbnb”.— Rob Johnston says "Flatten The Curve!" 🇨🇦🎧🎵 (@Rob Johnston says "Flatten The Curve!" 🇨🇦🎧🎵)1580559614.0
This is not the first time that an Airbnb rental has turned into the scene of a crime.
In Ontario in 2019, shootings happened at a house party in Toronto, outside of a house on the Bridle Path in the city and inside a house that was rented for a prom after-party in Whitchurch-Stouffville.
Toronto Police are asking anyone who heard or saw anything related to this latest incident to contact them or Crimestoppers.
Airbnb has also released a statement on the incident that took place.
"We are deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred in Toronto last night and our thoughts are with all who have been impacted -- including the victims and their loved ones as well as the neighbouring residents," they said in an email to Narcity.
"We are in close coordination with Toronto Police Services to offer our full support of their investigation into this senseless gun violence. We have zero tolerance for this type of behaviour, and we ban both party houses and unauthorized parties on our platform," they concluded.
They also confirmed that the listing did not allow for parties, but there haven't been any reported safety incidents at this property. Airbnb says the guest who booked it that night has been banned from their platform.*
*Editor's note: This story has been updated.