Five victims shot in different condo units near Toronto by gunman who lived there

Flags at half-staff as the victims are expected to be identified Monday afternoon as police investigation continues into mass killing that left a ‘horrendous scene’

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Five victims killed during a mass shooting were shot in different units inside a large condominium complex north of Toronto Sunday night by a man armed with a semi-automatic handgun who lived in the same building, according to a source close to the police investigation.

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The apparent killer, a 73-year-old man, was then shot during a confrontation with police officers responding to a reported active shooting at the residential complex in Maple, Ont., that boast of being a luxury, gated complex with a security guard on site.

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A sixth victim was injured in the incident.

York Regional Police were called at about 7:20 p.m., Sunday, to 9235 Jane Street, near the intersection with Rutherford Road, for a shooting in progress, according to Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which probes police shootings.

“There was an interaction between an officer and the armed man in the building. The officer fired his gun and struck the man. Paramedics were called and the man was pronounced deceased at the scene,” the SIU said.

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Five people were found dead inside the condominium and a sixth victim was taken to hospital.

“Once the officers arrived, they were met with a horrendous scene,” York police Chief Jim MacSween said outside the scene shortly afterwards. “Numerous victims were deceased.”

He said there it was not yet known what “drew this person here,” he said.

Police said the original call for help reported a man had already shot several people.

The circumstances of the shootings are not yet known. The victims have not yet been identified, pending notification of their family members.

York police said Monday morning they are still working to confirm the identity of the victims and notify their family.

There is a media conference by police scheduled for 2 p.m. and a police spokeswoman said no new information was expected before then.

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When officers are involved in a police shooting, the incident must be investigated by the SIU, limiting what details the responding police service can release publicly.

York police’s homicide unit will investigate the other deaths.

The police emergency response unit cleared the building and residents were allowed to return during the night.

“We offer our sincere condolences to the victims and their families,” MacSween said.

The Belaria Residences is a condominium complex of three towers built in 2008 in the community of Maple in the city of Vaughan, less than a kilometre down the road from Vaughan Mills, a large shopping mall, and about 30 kilometres from downtown Toronto.

The towers reach 16 storeys high with suites ranging from 599 to 2,010 square feet, according to real estate listings.

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Real estate listings show a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,200 square foot apartment with a wraparound balcony currently listed for a million dollars. Another listing from earlier this year for a one-bedroom apartment with a bathroom and a parking space for $699,000.

Photos show a large and grand hotel-style entranceway and main lobby main with marble-style flooring and a large fireplace mantle inside.

The city of Vaughan lowered it’s municipal flags to half-staff Monday in response to the deaths.

“I offer my condolences to the families of the victims killed in the shootings,” Steven Del Duca, mayor of Vaughan, said in a statement. “I want to recognize the brave first responders who are working to safeguard the situation.”

A significant police presence remained on scene Monday.

Police say the investigation is active and ongoing. An autopsy on the alleged gunman is scheduled for Tuesday.

With additional reporting by Canadian Press

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