'Horrible look in his face': Witnesses describe the chaos of Toronto mass shooting

In the hours following a horrific mass shooting in Toronto’s east end, several witnesses have described the panic as dozens of bystanders were left running for their lives.

Police say on Sunday evening at around 10 p.m., a 29-year-old man with a handgun opened fire in Toronto’s Greektown village along Danforth Avenue, a busy area filled with popular restaurants and shops.

Three people died in the shooting, including the gunman, while another 12 are injured. Ontario’s police watchdog said the shooter fled police gunfire, but was later found dead on Danforth Avenue.

One witness told CP24 he heard “at least 20 shots” as he made his way through the area.

“I saw the carnage as I ran down the street here,” he said. “(It was) pretty crazy. I saw at least four people shot here by the fountain.”

Another witness said at one point he was standing just 10 or 15 feet away from the shooter.

“(He had) long hair, a black hat and a dark shirt with long sleeves rolled up,” the witness said. “He was skinny, but he had this horrible look in his face.”

Another witness said the saw the shooter cross the street in front of them at an intersection, but did not immediately realize what was going on until he saw the man stop in front of a coffee shop and open fire.

“He pulled out a black handgun and started shooting through the window just as we were passing him,” he said. “We saw the glass shatter.”

“It was just one shooter that I saw and he would just zig-zag across the street whenever he saw people. He would head for a group of people and start shooting some easy targets.”

One woman named Diana told CP24 she was serving a family of four at Demetres Danforth when the shooter opened fire on the coffee shop.

“Everyone started yelling and crying,” she said. “I ran towards the back and went to the basement.”

Diana said when it appeared safe to emerge from the basement, she saw a little girl from the family she’d been serving lying on the ground.

“Her mom was crying,” Diana said. “I’m really worried about that little girl because she just started her life.”

Another witness told CP24 she was driving along the Danforth when she stopped her car to offer help.

“There were two people lying down,” she said. “Two young girls were lying down on the ground, shot. One of them passed away.”

“This is my neighbourhood. This is chaotic. I wouldn’t expect this to happen here.”

John Tulloch told The Canadian Press he and his brother heard between 20 and 30 gunshots as they got out of their car along the Danforth.

“We just ran,” he said. “We saw people starting to run so we just ran.”

With files from The Canadian Press and CP24

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