‘A horrendous scene’: Investigation underway after six people killed in Vaughan, Ont. mass shooting

Ontario’s police watchdog says a man suspected of killing five people at a Toronto-area condo used a semi-automatic handgun, and police found the victims in multiple units on different floors.

A spokeswoman for the Special Investigations Unit says the suspected gunman was a 73-year-old resident of the condo building in Vaughan, Ont.

The man was shot dead by a York Regional Police officer as authorities responded to the shooting on Sunday night.

A source close to the investigation, who was not authorized to speak publicly, told the Canadian Press the suspected gunman was Francesco Villi.

This is a breaking news story. A previous version of the story follows.

Authorities are investigating what led to a lone gunman opening fire Sunday night inside a condo tower in Vaughan, just north of Toronto, killing five people before being shot dead by police.

York Regional Police (YRP) responded to an “active shooting call” at a condominium at 9325 Jane St., north of Rutherford Road, just before 7:30 p.m.

A gunman, later identified as a 73-year-old man, opened fire, killing five people and injuring another before being fatally shot by police, York YRP Chief Jim MacSween told reporters at the scene late Sunday.

“Once the officers arrived, they were met with a horrendous scene where numerous victims were deceased,” he said, noting YRP’s homicide unit is doing a “parallel investigation” into the five fatal shootings that occurred prior to officers engaging with the suspect.

The sixth victim was taken to hospital in serious condition but is expected to survive police said.

As of Monday morning, several officers from YRP remain at the scene, including members of the force’s emergency response unit, who “conducted a thorough search of the building to ensure there are no additional victims,” YRP said in a news release. Forensic identification officers are also on hand.

Members of York police’s emergency response unit were also at the scene Sunday evening to assist in clearing the buildings in the residential complex.

In a tweet posted at 1:18 a.m., YRP said the residents of those evacuated buildings “are now able to return to their homes.”

“We thank you for your patience and understanding while we worked to ensure safety and preserve evidence,” police said.

MacSween said while it is unclear at this point what “drew this person here,” there is “no further threat to the community at this point.”

“Right now, we just offer sincere condolences to the victims’ families. We’re in the process right now of doing notifications to those families,” he said, adding for now he is unable to share any information about the victims.

Duty Insp. Const. Laura Nicolle, who also spoke with the media Sunday night at the scene, said the investigation is currently in its early stages.

Ontario’s Special Investigation Unit, the province’s police watchdog, is also investigating the mass shooting.

On Monday morning, Vaughan Mayor Stephen Del Duca visited the scene of the shooting and said his community is “horrified.”

“It’s just unspeakable to imagine that this has taken place here in our community,” Del Duca told reporters Monday morning. He said flags would fly at half-mast at all city buildings today.

He offered few details about the incident but urged the community not to “speculate” about the tragedy.

“I would urge everyone to wait until York Regional Police has concluded their investigation and they provide their updates before we speculate,” he said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact York police’s homicide unit at 1-288-876-5423, ext. 7865.

With files from The Canadian Press

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