Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors walks down the street with the NBA Championship trophy during the Toronto Raptors victory parade on June 17, 2019, in Toronto. Some 1 million people turned out for the celebration, which was marred when gunshots rang out leaving four people hurt. Police arrested three.
Photo: Vaughn Ridley (Getty)

At least four people were hurt and panic ensued when shots rang out Monday during the Toronto Raptors’ victory parade to celebrate their first-ever NBA Championship title.

According to USA Today, Toronto police said three people were arrested and authorities recovered two guns in the aftermath of the violence that marred what had been a joyous affair for the more than 1 million people who turned out to show the Raptors love.


“I’m not happy that there’s a shooting that occurred,” Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said, the Washington Post reports. “But I’m also not going to let this shooting define the fantastic event that took place where we had so many people who had such a great time.”

Saunders said more than 1 million people were in attendance, with most unaware that anything bad had happened, according to CNN.


The identities of the four injured people were not revealed. However, Toronto police described their injuries as “serious but not life-threatening,” the Post reports.

The names of the three people taken into custody also were not released pending their being formally charged, USA Today reports.


The shooting happened about 3:45 p.m. near the end of the parade route and while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was speaking. Trudeau was removed from the area safely without incident, according to the Post.

At the sound of gunfire, panicked people began to run:


As the Post recounts:

Mary Hopple, who attended the parade, said Trudeau was speaking when she heard a sound that resembled fireworks.

“Then there was a mad stampede of people clearly in a lot of panic,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do so I just ran, too.”

Christian Blazekovic said he didn’t hear gunshots, but knew something was amiss when he saw the crowd scrambling.

“Everyone just started running, mass amounts of people just sprinting for their lives,” he said. “It was anarchy because it was already crowded and areas had been blocked off for the parade.”


Toronto police were credited for acting quickly to bring things under control and for nabbing the three suspects.

Per the Post:

In a statement, the city’s mayor John Tory thanked police for their “quick response to today’s most unfortunate shooting after an otherwise spectacularly successful day.”

“It is disappointing and I’m sure a great source of anger for more than just me that anyone would carry a gun and discharge it at what was otherwise a joyous celebration,” he said.

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