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Two dead, three injured in downtown shooting

Last Updated Jan 31, 2016 at 4:51 pm EDT

Two people are dead and three others are in hospital after an early morning shooting in Chinatown.

Emergency crews were called to Spadina Avenue, between College and Dundas streets, around 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

Police said the incident began with an apparent altercation at a nearby restaurant.

“It appears that there was some type of altercation that occurred in the area of Nassau and Spadina that prompted this shooting to occur here today,” Det. Sgt. Mike Carbone with the Toronto police Homicide Squad explained.

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Police said a suspect fired at the group, wounding five people.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said one victim was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries where he later died.

“One victim, as a result of a gunshot wound, succumb to his injuries at the scene,” Carbone said. “Four others were transported to hospital where one individual suffered life-threatening injuries and I’ve just learned he also succumb to his injuries as well.’

Police tape off a restaurant in Chinatown after a fatal shooting, Jan. 31, 2015. CITYNEWS/Anna Vlachos
Police tape off a restaurant in Chinatown after a fatal shooting, Jan. 31, 2015. CITYNEWS/Anna Vlachos

Three others remain in hospital with varying injuries.

A suspect description has not been released.

Investigators are encouraging anyone who was in the area at the time of the shooting to contact police.

Officers are canvassing the area for witnesses and gathering surveillance videos from neighbouring businesses.

The head of the police union said shootings are becoming “more brazen.”

“We have a lot of people coming into this area, to this city,” said Mike McCormack, the president of the Toronto Police Association, said Sunday, and he is concerned for public safety.

He said that putting an end to the controversial practice of carding, or random and arbitrary stops of citizens who weren’t suspected of any wrongdoing, has hampered police investigations.

“Anecdotally … we had a broad public policy change around street checks and I think that this is having an impact on our ability to proactively investigate intelligence-led policing and I believe that this having an impact now on the amount of violence now and people carrying firearms,” McCormack said.

Spadina is closed between Dundas and College while police investigate.