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Toronto Police Seeking Suspect Shoppinig Mall Shooting

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June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Police in Canada’s biggest city are seeking at least one suspect in a shooting that killed one man and injured seven people at Toronto’s Eaton Centre mall.

Ahmed Hassan, 24, of Toronto, was killed in last night’s shooting, which took place in a food court at the downtown mall around dinnertime, police said. The shooting sent hundreds of panicked people running for the exits, the Toronto Star newspaper reported.

“Our investigation clearly suggests that this is a targeted shooting and not a random act of violence against the members of the general public,” Detective Sergeant Brian Borg said at a news conference in Toronto today.

Six others were shot. A 23-year-old man who was shot in the neck and chest was in critical condition. A 13-year-old boy who was shot in the head was in critical but stable condition, Borg said.

A 28-year-old pregnant woman who was injured, though not shot, was “doing well” and being monitored in the hospital, he said.

Eaton Centre said in a statement on its website that the mall would be closed today as authorities continue their investigation.

Police said they have made progress in identifying the shooter, partly through footage from closed-circuit cameras at the mall. They declined to provide details about the suspect.

Gang Connections

The victim was known to police and may have had gang connections, said Borg. At least one of the shooting victims has gang links, he added.

Police called the shooting an isolated incident.

“One idiot with a gun on a Saturday afternoon in downtown Toronto does not speak to the state of affairs of the city of Toronto,” said Acting Deputy Chief Jeff McGuire.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper condemned the shootings in a statement issued by his office today. “Canadians should be assured that such depraved and monstrous acts will be met with the full force of the law,” he said.

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie said on Twitter that he was at the mall when the shots broke out. “Pretty sure someone just let off a round bullets in eaton center mall .. Wow just sprinted out of the mall ... Through traffic,” he wrote.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Mayeda in Ottawa at amayeda@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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