Condolences and messages of support started to trickle in on social media hours after two people, including a police officer, were killed and multiple others were injured in shootings across the Greater Toronto Area.
According to police, two people were first shot in Mississauga. One of the two victims was Toronto police Const. Andrew Hong, who was fatally shot while on a lunch break from a training exercise. The other individual was taken to a trauma centre.
Shortly after a shooting was reported in Milton. One person has been pronounced dead while two others were rushed to hospital.
The same suspect is believed to be responsible for both incidents. Hours later, Hamilton police said the suspect had been shot and killed.
The shootings all occurred within the span of four hours, leaving multiple communities reeling from the violence. Police hadn’t even cleared the crime scenes before flowers began to appear in memory of those who lost their lives.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford quickly took to social media to say he was “horrified” to hear of the shootings.
“Like all Ontarians, I’m horrified by today’s senseless violence, including the killing of a Toronto police officer,” Ford said in a tweet.
“I’m so grateful to law enforcement for bringing this situation to an end. May justice for those killed and injured be swift.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory extended his thoughts to Const. Hong’s family, friends and the entire Toronto Police Service, who he says is “grieving right now after the loss of one of their own.”
“I am heartbroken to know Toronto Police Constable Andrew Hong was killed this afternoon in Mississauga,” he said in a statement. “Today, we are sadly reminded of the danger our officers face on a daily basis as they work to keep us all safe. I want to thank all the officers – from multiple police services – who responded to this terrible tragedy.”
“In the days ahead, I know Toronto residents will join me in supporting the Hong family and our entire policing community as they come together to mourn.”
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said she was in “utter shock” by the events.
“Like many residents across Mississauga, Toronto and Milton, I am in utter shock and devastated in light of today’s deadly gun attacks that claimed several lives and others in life-threatening condition,” Crombie said in a statement.
“In the wake of this tragedy, I want to offer my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones who lost their lives in this unimaginable tragedy.”
‘KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY’
Messages of condolences began to pour in by police forces across Ontario for the officer who was slain on Monday.
The Ontario Special Constable Association said it “extends sincerest condolences to the lived ones of the TPS officer who was killed today, as well as to his TPS and TPA family.”
“Our hearts are with Halton police, Peel police and Hamilton police as well on this tragic day, and we wish speedy recoveries to those injured.”
The president of the Toronto Police Association released a statement late Monday evening in memory of Hong, saying he had been with the service for 22 years, 19 of which he spend at Traffic services.
“Losing a member in the line of duty has rippling effects across our membership and the broader policing community and our city,” the statement read.
“Today we have a stark reminder of how this work can result in the ultimate sacrifice. We all owe Andrew our respect and our gratitude”