Two men were killed Sunday in a shooting near a popular Toronto bar, authorities said, in the latest in a recent string of killings that has sparked calls for the city to do more to stop gun violence.
Police said two other men were seriously injured in the shootout that took place in the city’s entertainment district and sent hundreds of people fleeing for cover, CBC News reported.
The men’s identities were not released. Police say they are not connected to the nightclub shooting.
Canada has the third-highest rate of gun-related killings per capita in the developed world, according to data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
The high number of gun deaths has been blamed on lax gun laws. People are allowed to carry guns in Canada for self-defense or sporting purposes, as long as the weapons are registered. Also, licensed hunters may carry their weapons into the national capital region, which includes the nation’s capital, in groups of up to 15 without permission, CBC News reported.
Toronto has been the site of a spate of shootings over the past week. The death of eight-year-old Reese Fallon on Friday, which police said was related to the gun battle that took place in the area earlier in the day, raised calls for gun control.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to put things like this back together again,” Mayor John Tory said after Fallon’s death, the same day she was gunned down. “We have to really stop the flow of guns and we’ve got to do that for the safety of our young people and for the safety of our community.”
But on Monday, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders did not indicate that more stringent gun control was the answer. He said that “every homicide we’re dealing with on any given day, all of the witnesses we talk to, certainly there’s nothing that we can point to at this point that will lead us to point to anything other than normal violence.”