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1.5M participate in Raptor's parade; four people shot



TORONTO – Four people were shot and wounded on a Monday to the NBA champion Raptors, and two people were arrested, police said.

Deaf people from Raptor's fans ran from the shooting into a stampede from the Town Hall Square, packed with tens of thousands of fans. Estimated 1.5 million fans previously packed downtown Toronto for a Raptors parade that raised security and overcrowding concerns.

Toronto police chief Mark Saunders said four people suffered a sore injury, but said none of the injuries were life-threatening. Others have suffered minor injuries as they tried to get away from the shooting, Saunders said, asking for witnesses and people who could have video to come forward and help investigators.

"We've arrested people with firearms, and that's the start of the investigation, Saunders said.

Asked if it was a targeted shooting or terrorist related, political spokeswoman Allison Sparkes said the investigation was about to begin

During a speech by one of the team owners, the host of the rally interrupted the procedure to warn the public of an emergency and asked for rest. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Toronto Mayor John Tory, NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and other Raptors players were on stage at that time.

"I want to make sure everyone stays calm," said the host, sports caster Matt Devlin. "This is serious. Everyone is calm … There is an emergency that is being treated. "

These onstages remained in place and speak resumed shortly afterwards.

Mike Mudidi said he was enjoying the parties when he heard screams behind him, "Someone had pulled a gun. He said he froze when people started driving in all directions." "I just grabbed my friends' hands and ran," he said.

Raptors of Phil D & # 39; Souza said the violence left a bad taste in his mouth, and he questioned whether he would attend a similar event in the future.

"You couldn't see the slider, but it was that kind of chaos, where you just wait to see someone come around the corner. It was that kind of vibe, D & # 39; Souza said.

Another fan said that stampede was scary.

"When you see a bunch of people coming to you, you don't do. I don't know what to do, whether to run or not. You won't get the stamp over," Sam Sunday said.

Trudeau's spokeswoman declined to comment on the shooting near the prime minister.

"We never respond to issues regarding PM's security," Eleanore Catenaro said.

Tory, the mayor, thanked the police for their quick response.

"It's disappointing and I'm sure that it is a source of anger for more than just me that someone would carry a gun and relinquish it to what was otherwise a happy celebration, & # 39; & # 39; said Tory in a statement. "I hope those responsible will be fully accounted for by the law. I want to praise and thank the millions of other people who happily and peacefully celebrated our beloved Toronto Raptors."

Tory earlier called on each city resident to celebrate Raptors' first championship and declared Monday as "We The North Day" after the franchise's slogan.

"Toronto more than a million of us flooded the streets today to celebrate our Raptors' city councilor Joe Cressy tweeted. "People of all ages, every race, every religion ̵

1; our city. As horrible as the slider was and frighten too many in the crowd afterwards, don't let it go away from our moment."

Fans received packed conditions for joining parade Nicolas Caramanna, 21, said the crowd began to be rowdy shortly after arriving at 9.00 am

"I'm really hot and tired, but I have to stick," he said. "When else am I going to get a chance to do this? & # 39; & # 39;

Many others chose to miss school or work. Cypher Sabanal, 15, said his mother let him jump class to join the fortress.

John Moreira called himself ill to work so he could be part of T Toronto's first celebration of this size since Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993.

"I told my boss I would be on parade and he said there was not much he could do if I called sick, so that was exactly what I did, "said the 31-year-old. 19659002] As the parade hung ahead – apparently according to plan – a number of Raptors couldn't help wondering about the fan response.

"It's been great," Leonard said. "Thank you Toronto, thank you Canada for support. We did it. & Nbsp;

Several fans were seen with characters asking Leonard to sign with Raptors. He will be free agent this summer.

Kyle Lowry, the team's longest patient player, lifted Larry O & # 39; Brien Trophy while his teammates smoke cigars. "" This is incredible, "he said.

Associated Press contributed to this report.


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