A 17-year-old boy who was killed in a shooting in Mississauga, Ont., on Saturday night was an innocent victim, Peel Regional Police say.
Peel Police Chief Chris McCord told reporters on Sunday that investigators believe there were at least seven shooters involved in gunfire that also injured four other teens and a woman in a parkette behind an apartment complex.
Officers have recovered more than 100 shell casings at the crime scene. The shooters are believed to have used semi-automatic handguns.
The shooting occurred on Darcel Avenue near Dunrankin Drive, in the area of Morning Star and Goreway Drive in Mississauga, a city west of Toronto. Police were called to the scene at about 6:15 p.m.
“Our investigation leads us to believe that the young man who died last night was actually an innocent victim caught up in this indiscriminate attack,” McCord said at a news conference near the scene.
“The attackers had complete disregard for public safety within our community and the community made of the people who live here.”
McCord said police also believe the shooting was targeted and motivated by a rap music video that was filmed in the parkette and released last week.
“This was an ambush-type attack. The intended targets appeared to be a group preparing to film a rap video,” he said.
4 out of 5 injured still recovering in hospital
When officers arrived at the parkette, they found the teen boy suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Peel paramedics tried to save his life, but the boy was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not been released. Next of kin have been notified.
The five injured people — a 50-year-old woman, a 13-year-old girl, a 16-year-old boy, and two 17-year-old boys — were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police say one of the injured people has been released from hospital and the remaining four are in stable condition.
Some of the injured are also believed to be innocent victims, McCord said.
He said the shooting occurred as people in the parkette were setting up to shoot a music video and an ice cream truck was parked nearby. McCord said police would like to speak to the ice cream truck driver.
No one is in custody, no suspects have been identified and officers are reviewing security camera video.
No weapons have been recovered.
McCord said the shooters were dressed in dark clothing and wearing balaclavas. They covertly approached the parkette, and once they were in position, opened fire, he said.
“I want to reassure the community that public safety is a top priority for Peel Regional Police and this investigation will take some time as we go through all of the process.”
Mayor says she is ‘deeply shocked’ by shooting
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, who also spoke at the news conference, told reporters that her thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
“My heart goes out to the family of the innocent victim. I’m so saddened and shocked by this incident and I just want them to know that the victim is in my thoughts and prayers,” Crombie said.
“This is a call for us to let us know that we can do more and we should do more.”
Crombie said Mississauga needs its share of provincial funding to combat guns and gangs like the city of Toronto has received to deal with its gun violence problem.
As a member of the police services board, she said there could be a need to bring back a community police station in Malton, the area where the shooting occurred.
Crombie also thanked the police and paramedics for their swift response.
On Sunday morning, police canvassed the neighbourhood, knocking on doors in the hopes of finding witnesses and security camera video.
Officers also sent out a drone to obtain an aerial view of the crime scene and brought in a metal detector to scan for stray bullets in the grass.