CHARLOTTE, N.C. June 3 2012
Police have locked up a man they said tried to shoot a Family Dollar employee, only the gun never fired.
Officers arrested Gilbert Francois on Wednesday.
Police said, just hours before, an employee at the north Charlotte store caught Francois trying to shoplift.
He pointed a gun at the worker and pulled the trigger. The gun didn’t go off.
He then ran out of the store, police said.
Francois has an extensive police record. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have arrested him 10 times in just the last three years.
The latest bust came in January on an assault charge.
Tonawanda NY June 3 2012 — A Buffalo firefighter was arrested early Friday morning after a vulgarity laden and brawling encounter with Falls cops, first at Seneca Niagara Casino, and later at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.
Scott C. Wiles, 45, 6313 Lake Ave., Orchard Park, was charged with second-degree assault, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest.
The trouble started at around 12:37 a.m., when Officers Ronald Cirrito and Lisa MacNeil responded to a call from casino security who said they were having a “problem with an intoxicated male.” Officers said when they arrived they saw a casino security supervisor arguing with Wiles.
The security supervisor told Cirrito that Wiles was drunk and causing problems inside the casino. Wiles had reportedly been offered a room in the casino hotel, but refused to go to the room and was then kicked out.
Cirrito’s report on the incident said Wiles was “highly intoxicated” and using “obscenities and racial slurs” toward the security supervisor, who was a Native American. When Cirrito told Wiles to “quiet down,” the Buffalo firefighter replied, “(Expletive) these Indians. I don’t give a (expletive).”
Wiles first told Cirrito he was a Buffalo cop, then said, “I’m a Buffalo firefighter.”
After telling Wiles to leave the casino or face arrest, Wiles told Cirrito “I don’t care. Arrest me.”
As Cirrito attempted to place Wiles under arrest, he began to struggle with the Falls officers and casino security. Officers took Wiles to the ground and he continued to fight with them before finally being handcuffed and put in a police patrol car.
Cirrito injured his elbow during the confrontation and Wiles said he had hurt his head. Officers decided to take Wiles to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for treatment.
On the way to the medical center, Wiles continued to shout at Cirrito.
“You fat (expletive), I’ll bet you got your job by (expletive) Indian (expletive),” Wiles said. “Why don’t you go back and (expletive) that fat Indian’s (expletive) some more, you fat (expletive) piece of (expletive).”
Wiles also told Cirrito repeatedly, “I’m going to have your job, you fat (expletive).”
Once inside the medical center ER, WIles repeatedly flopped on the floor, was abusive to doctors and nurses.
After refusing to allow the ER staff to treat him, WIles refused to get off the floor, forcing Cirrito and MacNeil to drag him back to a patrol car. MacNeil injured her back while dragging him.
Wiles was arraigned on his charges in Falls City Court later Friday and was released on bail.
NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. June 3 2012
Police say two people were shot outside Club Lexx off Northwest 27th Avenue in Northwest Miami-Dade just before 11 p.m. Friday. Both men were rushed to the hospital where one died.
“The security guard just up and fired,” said a woman only wanting to be identified as Tanya.
Tanya works at the club and says the pair got into a fight with the security guard, who was later seen being questioned by detectives.
She adds that he was the one who pulled the trigger.
“They were just coming out of the club so I know they weren’t armed,” said Tanya.
Tanya says before you go into Club Lexx, you’re checked, scanned for weapons, which means the only ones armed are the guards.
A truck in the parking lot is riddled with bullet holes as police try to find out what started the fight.
“I don’t know exactly what he said to them when they first came out, but he made them very upset,” said Tanya.
The security guard was detained for questioning, but at this point police have not said if anyone has been arrested.
The person who was injured is in stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
SHREVEPORT, LA June 3 2012 – Police arrested two people for allegedly shoplifting from Walmart in West Shreveport.
Shreveport police say a man and a woman were caught shoplifting by a security officer at Walmart on Pines Road Thursday.
Police say the male suspect pulled out a stun gun and tazed the security officer.
Both suspects fled in a dark blue Dodge Durango leaving behind all of the merchandise.
Police say they spotted the Durango on Hollywood Avenue and Monkhouse Drive in front of the Shreveport Regional Airport. Police stopped the suspects and arrested them.
Police are still investigating and the suspects face numerous charges.
KOOTENAI COUNTY ID June 3 2012– A Kootenai County bailiff is facing child sex abuse charges.
Jack McPike was arrested last month on multiple charges of abuse, dating back to 2006.
McPike is due back in court to enter a plea in the case next week.
McPike charges include: one charge of sexually crime against nature, 2 charges of lewd conduct with child under 16, and 2 charges of sexual abuse of a child under 16.
McPike’s arraignment is scheduled for June 8th.
Kootenai County Bailiffs are employed by Kootenai County, not the sheriff’s office.
Marble Hill high school teacher arrested for sex assault on nine-year-old relative www.privateofficer.com
Passaic County NJ June 3 2012 A Marble Hill high school teacher was arrested Wednesday for sexual contact with a nine-year-old relative to in New Jersey.
Special education teacher Thomas Gibbons was arrested Wednesday at his Westchester home.
Passaic County, New Jersey officials say the alleged incidents happened at the child’s Paterson home between January 2010 and January 2011.
Gibbons is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
The 59-year-old worked at JFK High School in Marble Hill but has been reassigned.
Despite the accusations, one of Gibbons’ students praised his work.
“We have a sub now,” the student said. “But I guess we kind of lost a good teacher, because he was a good teacher. But sorry for his actions.”
In 1996, Gibbons was reassigned over an allegation of sexual misconduct, but an arbitrator dismissed the case and put him back in the classroom.
The holdups happened on Friday afternoon in Brooklyn, all along a road called Kings Highway.
Police tell The New York Times ( http://nyti.ms/LWUEzb ) the man never showed a weapon. He simply handed the tellers notes and waited for the money.
Authorities say he walked off with cash from a teller at the first bank, left empty-handed from the second one, but scored again at the third bank.
Police did not say how much was lost as they continue to search for a suspect.
Reports state that on Tuesday, at around 3 p.m., two Carson City Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to an area near the 1000 block of East Second Street. They were sent to answer a report of a male and a female having sexual intercourse on a section of communal lawn behind an apartment building. When the officers arrived they discovered the couple in the middle of what appeared to be them having sexual intercourse; the man is described as having his shirt off and pants undone while the female was entirely nude. The officers proceeded to break them apart.
The man, 28-year-old Sean Alan Holloman, and the girl were questioned. Initially the female claimed to be 16 years of age; further investigation led the officers to discover her age was actually 15 and that she will not be 16 until the end of the year. Upon discovering this Holloman was arrested for statutory sexual seduction.
Holloman is a music teacher at the Aria School of Music and Art in Reno, partially owned and operated by his mother. The 15-year-old female is not a student at the school.
Hartford CT June 3 2012 A measure allowing use of medical marijuana in Connecticut has been signed into law by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Connecticut joins 16 other states and the District of Columbia in authorizing use of the drug to provide relief from debilitating medical conditions.
Malloy said Friday that the law will allow the Department of Consumer Protection to regulate and monitor the use of marijuana in a way that will help avoid problems seen in other states.
Patients will be able to obtain marijuana only from certified pharmacists. The law allows for the licensing of at least three but not more than 10 marijuana producers statewide.
Qualifying conditions for patients include cancer, glaucoma, AIDS or HIV, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
Sunstates Security President Glenn Burrell Bikes 500-plus Miles to Honor Fallen Police Officers www.privateofficer.com
VIA PRESS RELEASE From May 9 to 12, Glenn Burrell, President of Sunstates Security, joined 65 members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) in a 532-mile bike ride to honor police officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. This year’s ride was dedicated to CMPD Officer Fred Thornton, who fell on February 25, 2011. Officer Thornton’s name was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., during a candlelight vigil on the evening of May 13.
All along the route, from Charlotte, N.C., to Washington, D.C., fellow officers and citizens joined the riders to show support for their cause. Each challenging mile, including a 95-mile stretch in torrential rains, honored those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Participants raised more than $43,000 to benefit Charlotte’s Finest Legacy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides scholarships to students planning law enforcement careers. The foundation was created to honor CMPD officers Sean Clark and Jeff Shelton, both killed in the line of duty on April 1, 2007.
Burrell estimates that he spent more than 32 hours on his Trek bicycle during the four-day ride.
“During that time, I spoke with many of my fellow riders, most of whom were active police officers,” he said. “It was obvious that we were all focused on the same goal: reach D.C. in one piece to honor the too-many fallen police heroes and, in particular, Fred Thornton of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
“The camaraderie and common goal was an experience not to miss, and I made many new friends along the way.”
Burrell described the candlelight vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial as a particularly moving experience. Last year, 163 officers lost their lives in the line of duty. Their families were brought in by bus from across the country and then personally escorted by police officers to their seats for the 24th annual ceremony, which was attended by approximately 20,000 people. In addition to the fallen officers of 2011, the names of another 199 officers, whose deaths had been lost to history until this year, were added to the memorial.
About Sunstates Security
Based in Raleigh, N.C., Sunstates Security provides uniformed security personnel and security consulting services to clients throughout the Southeast, as well as in the Northeast and Southwest. The company is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Greater Business Women’s Council, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
KNOXVILLE TN June 3 2012 — Troy Lane, chief of police at the University of Wyoming, has been named the chief of police for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Police Department.
Lane, who has more than 16 years of campus law enforcement experience, will begin June 25.
“Troy Lane brings a wide range of knowledge and skills to this role. He will provide leadership for our police force as it continues building its strong connections to the campus community and other local law enforcement agencies,” said Jeff Maples, senior associate vice chancellor for finance and administration. “Campus safety is one of our most important responsibilities, and we look forward to working with Troy to enhance the university’s safety and security initiatives.”
As police chief at the University of Wyoming since 2007, Lane supervised 14 sworn officers and 10 support personnel. The University of Wyoming is the state’s land-grant university, with an enrollment of 13,476 as of 2009.
Lane increased the emergency preparedness of the police department, arranging the first-ever mutual-assistance agreements between the campus police, the city of Laramie, Wyoming’s police department and the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. He led the effort to rewrite and update the university’s emergency response plan and is certified as an instructor in the National Incident Management System and the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation training program. He also created a system of anonymous reporting of crimes and suspicious behavior to the police department’s website.
“A campus is a very diverse community, with challenges and opportunities that are unique in the law enforcement profession,” Lane said. “My focus will be on learning as much as possible about the UTPD, its employees and its central role to the well-being of the UT campus. I am honored to be joining the University of Tennessee and leading the men and women of its police force.”
Lane replaces former chief Gloria Graham, who left in January 2012 to become assistant chief of police at the University of Chicago. Assistant Chief Debbie Perry has served as interim chief since Graham’s departure.
Lane began his law enforcement career in 1988 as a military policeman in the U.S. Army in Fort Riley, Kansas. After leaving the military in 1992, he continued working in law enforcement, and in 1996 was named assistant director of the Kansas State University Police Department. In that role, he supervised 24 sworn officers and 20 support personnel. He left Kansas State in 2007 for the chief of police position at the University of Wyoming.
Lane has a master’s degree in criminal justice from Ft. Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, and a bachelor’s degree in management and ethics from Manhattan Christian College in Manhattan, Kansas. He attended the FBI academy in Quantico, Va., where he received special training in forensic science, statement analysis, managing investigations, legal issues for command-level officers, and budgets and grant writing.
Mentor OH June 3 2012 A Cleveland woman is accused of punching a security guard while trying to shoplift from a Dillard’s department store Wednesday in Mentor.
A guard spotted Shuree Jefferson, 34, taking clothes and putting it in empty Dillard’s shopping bags, Mentor Police Lt. Ken Zbiegien said.
She took more than $1,100 worth of clothes and tried to leave without paying, according to police. As she left the store, the security guard tried to stop her and she punched him in the chest, Zbiegien said.
She also knocked over several racks of clothing while struggling with the security.
Eventually the guards were able to restrain her and police arrived.
When police talked to her, she claimed to be a 17-year-old girl so she would be charged as a minor, Zbiegien said. However, a fingerprint test revealed her to be a 34-year-old woman.
Police charged her with robbery, falsification and obstructing official business. She was arraigned Friday morning in Mentor Municipal Court.
The judge set her bond at $20,000, which was not posted. Her next court hearing is scheduled for June 7.
Buffalo NY June 2012 An ugly scene developed late Friday night at Coca-Cola Field, after high winds and safety concerns prevented headliner Eric Church from performing at the WYRK Taste of Country concert.
Some fans apparently became angry, and chairs were smashed and thrown onto the stage, along with bottles and cans, after the announcement was made that Church would not be performing, observers said. Security officers, though, managed to get most of the fans out of the stadium fairly quickly, those observers added.
“High winds created a safety concern and compromised the stage structure,” said a statement on WYRK’s website. “After intense consideration, it was decided it was in the best interest for the safety of everybody at Coca Cola Field that Eric Church not perform.”
Concert-goers also were advised to hang onto their tickets.
The country music station also released a statement of apology from Church.
“I’m very bummed the show got canceled tonight,” Church stated. “I’ve learned in doing this, that some things are out of your hands and this is one of those things. I owe the city of Buffalo one, and I intend to make good on that.
“To everyone out there, thanks for coming and standing in the rain and wind, and we intend to bring it when the time comes,” he added.
Church was scheduled to go on stage at 9:45 p.m., but concert-goers weren’t told he wasn’t performing until shortly after 11 p.m., according to some fans.
Many fans who posted comments on the WYRK website said they understood the safety concerns that prevented Church from performing, specifically that high winds and the steady rain could have threatened the stage.
But there were plenty of complaints about the security.
“What I would like to know is who is responsible for security in the “gold circle seating.’ It was out of control,” wrote one fan who sat nine rows from the stage. “Everyone pushing, throwing, stacking chairs. People were falling all over the place … And absolutely no one was around.”
“Security was ridiculous down there!” another woman wrote. “Tons of stacked chairs, people climbing over them and falling on people. I was more disappointed in the security than the fact Eric didn’t perform.”
While most of the comments were negative, others praised the earlier acts and added that they understood the decision not to have Church perform.
The armored vehicle crashed at about 4:53 p.m. in the southbound lane after it likely drove over standing water, according to Kanawha County Metro 911 dispatchers.
The vehicle’s driver and passenger were uninjured and no money spilled out, dispatchers said.
The accident shut down both southbound lanes for about an hour.
This is the second Loomis armored vehicle that has overturned in Kanawha County in less than a month. On May 8, a Loomis vehicle overturned after hydroplaning along Interstate 77 near Sissonville. Bills, rolls of coins and loose quarters scattered around the vehicle in northbound and southbound lanes.
One of the earliest emergency responders on the scene radioed in that some drivers passing by had stopped and were trying to grab some of the money. Both guards in that accident were uninjured.
Gus Martinez, a 28-year veteran of the LAPD, began the ride yesterday for a good cause, raising funds for the Special Olympics of Southern California. Martinez, who coaches and mentors in the Special Olympics, said the ride was inspired by his son Jason, a 23-year-old with Down Syndrome who has won more than 30 gold medals in swimming at the Special Olympics.
“None of it is about me,” Martinez told KABC. “It’s about Special Olympics. They can accomplish anything, and they should be looked at and treated like any other teenager, any other child. They don’t have limitations.”
Martinez boarded the Ferris wheel at 7:30 a.m. Thursday and finished his journey at 8:20 this morning. The ride wasn’t simple. There were strict rules he had to follow to break the record, including only 5-minute bathroom breaks every hour and no sleeping.
“It’s just an accomplishment that I never expected, I never thought I’d have this opportunity,” he told KABC. “It just feels great.”
Martinez made sure his ride would be comfortable, setting up his flat screen TV, iPad, cell phone and a solar panel for electricity. At the end of his ride, Martinez was greeted by his son, family members and a swarm of media. He was quickly awarded a plaque from Guinness World records and carried the Special Olympics torch with his son.
The torch was handed off to Santa Monica Police officers, who will watch it this weekend on the pier until the Special Olympics begin next Saturday in Long Beach, Calif
DAYTON OH June 3 2012
A 57-year-old man who has been arrested nearly 200 times in Dayton was arrested Thursday night, a day after being released from jail.
Clayton J. Peck was returned to the Montgomery County Jail after he was arrested around 10 p.m. for allegedly panhandling at the North Main Street exit ramp for Interstate 75, according to Dayton police records.
Police said Peck was holding up a sign that stated, “Homeless, anything will help, God bless,” and approaching motorists who were stopped at the light.
The arresting officer noted in the report that Peck has been arrested 197 times by Dayton police, including nine under two false social security numbers.
Dayton Municipal Court records show there are 386 criminal cases against Peck dating back to 1996, a court official said.
Dayton municipal law prohibits panhandling using a sign or without a license.
Drunk mother drives off with five-week-old baby strapped in a car seat on top of car www.privateofficer.com
Phoenix AZ June 3 2012 A 19-year-old mother is under arrest on child abuse and aggravated DUI charges after police say she left her five-week-old baby strapped in a car seat on top of her 2000 Ford Focus and drove off.
The child is said to be in good condition and now in custody of Arizona Child Protective Services.
At about 1 a.m. Saturday, Phoenix police officers got calls from the 45th Avenue and Cholla area, just south of Cactus Road, that a baby was in a car seat in the middle of a road.
Phoenix Fire Department officials found the baby and took him to a local hospital. He was “perfectly OK,” said Officer James Holmes, spokesman for Phoenix police.
Holmes said the mother, Catalina Clauser, had apparently been smoking marijuana late Friday night at a nearby park with her boyfriend. At about 11 p.m. they left the park to buy some beer. The boyfriend was arrested on aggravated DUI charges while on the way, Holmes said.
An upset Clauser then reportedly went to a friend’s house where, she admitted, she smoked more marijuana, Holmes said. By midnight, Clauser left the house with the baby asleep in the car seat.
She realized the baby was missing when she reached home. That’s when Clauser called her friends and asked them to trace the route she had taken. The friends ran into the officers who had already found the baby. Clauser arrived there shortly thereafter and was arrested, Holmes said.
The sheriff’s office said that yhe investigation is being conducted by the Homicide Unit near milepost 151 of I-8, in the Vekol Valley area.
As of right now, the sheriff’s office is not releasing further information about the scene, the fire or the victims and a media briefing is scheduled between 2:30 and 3 p.m. today, according to PCSO.
Aurora IL June 3 2012 DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced today that Shaun Horan, 31, of 1673 Blackwell Lane in Aurora, has been charged with stealing more than $285,000 from his former employer, Resource One, in Oak Brook.
It is alleged that from between 2007 through 2011, Horan worked at Resource One as an accountant. During this time, it is alleged that Horan wrote himself unauthorized checks totaling $286,237.23 from the company account and, in an attempt to conceal the thefts, either deleted or changed entries in the company’s books. Horan’s scheme came to light due to the diligence of a coworker and a follow-up internal audit conducted by Resource One.
“White collar crimes, such as what is alleged in this case, can not only pose a great hardship to the victim, but can have an enormous impact on society as well,” Berlin said. “When a company is defrauded, it must make up for its losses by raising costs, which ultimately means higher prices for consumers.”
Horan has been charged with one count of theft over $100,000, a Class 1 Felony punishable by up to four to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. He appeared in Bond Court this morning where bond was set at $250,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 25 in front of Judge Robert Kleeman.
Tammy Lynn Lumbard is charged with one count of bank embezzlement, according to a felony information document filed Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Federal investigators allege Lumbard, who worked as a teller and supervisor at Huntington Bank before being terminated last year, stole a total of $108,630 from the accounts of various customers by preparing checks that were payable to “cash” and then forging the signatures of customers on the checks.
The filing of the felony information against Lumbard came on the same day that federal prosecutors filed with the court a plea agreement that was signed May 22 by Lumbard.
According to the plea agreement, Lumbard began working for Huntington Bank in 2003 and was transferred to its branch in downtown Kalamazoo in 2009. She was terminated on Oct. 26, 2010 “because of the embezzlement of funds,” the document says.
The plea agreement says Lumbard hid the theft of customers’ money by paying interest on the money taken from customers’ lines of credit and money market accounts and created “a paper trail that made it look as if her teller drawer and the accounts she was working with were balanced when in fact they were not balanced.”
One of the customers, according to the plea agreement, was an elderly person who suffered from memory problems and discovered “a discrepancy in his line of credit after receiving a notice of past due payments despite the fact that he had been making payments to the bank, not realizing that he had been victimized and thinking that he actually owed the money.”
As part of the plea agreement, Lumbard is agreeing to make full restitution to Huntington Bank, documents show.
While Lumbard has signed the plea agreement, her plea has not yet been accepted by a U.S. District Court judge. The bank embezzlement charge against Lumbard is a felony punishable by up to 30 years in federal prison.
Lumbard is scheduled to be back in court June 11 for a first appearance and change of plea hearing in Grand Rapids in front of U.S. Magistrate Joseph G. Scoville.
Police arrived shortly before 2 a.m. after receiving multiple 911 calls about a fight between the employee and two male patrons, police said.
Upon officers’ arrival, they discovered the security guard—unconscious but breathing—lying on the sidewalk.
The man, who worked as the bar’s bouncer, died from his injuries at a local hospital, according to the news release. Police have not released his name pending next of kin notification.
“It was a beating,” police Sgt. Fabian Saucedo told Patch. “It was … a blunt-force type thing.”
Saucedo said officers are looking for “one for sure, possibly two” men involved in the fight. Witnesses described the men as Hispanics in their early 30s, and said one had a ponytail.
The two men left in a white 2003 Audi with California license plate 5DQM959, witnesses told police.
Police are unsure what started the altercation; however, Saucedo told the Easy Reader that “it may have been about last call or closing.” The bar closes at 2 a.m.
Anyone with information about the fight or the whereabouts of the two men is asked to call the Redondo Beach Police Department tip line at 310-937-6685, text 310-339-2362 or email email@example.com. People may also contact the police department directly at 310-379-2477.
TORONTO CANADA June 3 2012 (AP) — A gunman fired shots in a crowded food court in one of Canada’s busiest malls Saturday killing a man and injuring seven others, police said.
Police Chief Bill Blair said the shooting at Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto targeted one individual and there were a number of innocent bystanders. Police constable Victor Kwong said two people were in critical condition after being shot at the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto, including a 13-year old boy. The 25-year-old man who was killed died at the scene, he said.
Kwong said six people were shot in all, including the deceased.
Two people were trampled on and pushed, including a pregnant woman who went into labor after she was pushed, Kwong said. Blair said investigators have a description of the suspect.
“A lot of innocent people were hurt and a lot of innocent people were put at risk,” Blair said. “We will be relentless in our pursuit of the individual or individuals that were responsible. We are receiving a lot of cooperation from the people that were present in the foot court.”
Blair called the Eaton Centre an iconic landmark in Toronto, Canada’s largest city.
“Any place for discharging a firearm in Toronto is dangerous, in the food court of the Eaton Centre on a Saturday evening, it’s not only dangerous, it’s outrageous,” he said. “I believe every Torontonian is shocked and appalled by this crime.”
Toronto prides itself as one of the safest cities in North America. Many Canadians have long taken comfort in the peacefulness of their communities and are nervous about anything that might indicate they are moving closer to their American counterparts.
Witnesses said multiple shots were fired in the mall’s food court and that hundreds of panicked shoppers sprinted for the exits. The mall, which is popular with tourists, was evacuated.
Swarms of people watched from outside as an injured man with visible bullet wounds was wheeled out on a stretcher.
Toronto Blue Jays baseball player Brett Lawrie tweeted that he sprinted out of the mall after hearing the shots.
“People sprinting up the stairs right from where we just were … Wow wow wow,” Lawrie tweeted.
Marcus Neves-Polonio, 19, was working in the food court when he saw a man pull out a gun and start firing. At least two people were on the ground, he said.
“All of a sudden a herd of people were just running toward us, a massive crowd of people screaming, running, freaking out,” said Hannah Stewart, 21, a shopper. “We saw this girl, sitting on the ground, and she had blood on her toes.” The girl appeared to have been one of the victims and told Stewart she had just been shot.
Erica Solmes, who manages the McDonald’s in the mall’s food court, said she heard about 15 shots ring out before a stampede of people made a dash for the exits. Transit service around the mall was shut down for a time.
In 2005, a 15-year-old girl was killed during the Christmas holidays just north of the mall in a shooting that shocked the city during a year of record gun deaths in Toronto.
“Today harkens back to that terrible moment,” Blair said. “I am very sadly reminded of that. That was one of the most tragic and shocking events that ever took place in Toronto.”
Kwong said police are in the process of reviewing security tapes. He said they had concluded a search of the mall.
“It’s absolutely terrible,” Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said.
The area around the mall was quickly blocked off after the shooting and the Eaton Centre itself was evacuated and closed down. A portion of a major subway line, which services the mall, was also temporarily shut down.
Police spent much of Saturday evening trying to clear out thousands of people who were milling around outside the mall, mostly trying to figure out what happened.