Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit is looking into a fatal shooting involving police on a Toronto streetcar after a man died early Saturday morning.
Martin Baron, 47, was returning home around midnight on Friday with his wife and teenage son when he says he saw people running off a TTC streetcar near the intersection of Dundas St. West and Bellwoods Avenue. He said as he got closer, he saw Toronto police officers approach the streetcar.
“Panic essentially sets in when you see cops with guns right in front of you,” Mr. Baron said. “You could hear them yelling, really, really loudly, ‘Drop the knife, drop the knife.’”
Several bystanders filmed the incident as it unfolded. Mr. Baron described seeing a man standing in the streetcar by the driver’s seat, with the police at the front door of the streetcar.
Mr. Baron said the man was “perfectly still.”
“It escalated very, very quickly, and then shots were fired. About 30 seconds after they stopped shooting they actually tasered him – you could hear the taser – and then an officer went in the back door of the streetcar and you could see them performing CPR on him,” Mr. Baron said.
A spokesman for the Toronto Emergency Medical Services said they received a call at one minute after midnight for a man with multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso.
The SIU says the man was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound and died.
Danny Nicholson, a spokesman for the TTC, said there was nobody other than the suspect on the streetcar when the incident took place and that the transit commission is working closely with the SIU.
Liliana Anania-Mucci lives just up the street from the intersection where the shooting happened.
“It sounded like an explosion,” Ms. Anania-Mucci said of the gunshots.
Ms. Anania-Mucci said she spoke with two Spanish exchange students who had been on the streetcar before the shooting took place.
The couple told her the man seemed “quite normal,” until he pulled out a knife and exposed himself, Ms. Anania-Mucci said.
“Everyone started to run,” Ms. Anania-Mucci said. “The young girl was quite upset.”
In a news release, the SIU says it has assigned six investigators and two forensic investigators to “probe the circumstances of this incident.”
No other details have been released.