Shooting Near Toronto Raptors’ Victory Parade Leaves 4 Wounded
On Monday during the parade — itself delayed by crowds — many people were lighting fireworks, which confused some people in the vicinity of the shooting.
“We thought it was firecrackers,” said J Nycole Ralph, a cast member in a Toronto production of “The Book of Mormon.”
“I just kind of brushed it off,” added Amanda Foote, another cast member.
But as word spread about the shooting, there were two panicked crowd surges along Bay Street, adjacent to City Hall. At least one woman was trampled and taken into a courthouse before she could be removed by ambulance. Shoes slipped off in the crush, and pieces of clothing and an abandoned stroller littered the road following the panic. Outside of a tractor-trailer that had been selling Raptors clothing, there appeared to be a pool of blood.
Inside the square, Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ television announcer, interrupted the celebration ceremonies at one point, temporarily silencing the crowd.
“I’m getting information that we’re dealing with a situation not far from here, this is serious,” he said, without offering details, before repeatedly asking the crowd to remain calm. Not long afterward, the introduction of the players resumed.
The square was filled well beyond its estimated capacity of about 60,000 people, and crowds spilled out into several adjacent streets and lined the parade route — a reflection of how the Raptors’ success has fueled a mania for basketball in Toronto.
As the players traveled toward the city center on Raptors-themed, double-decker buses, there was a flyover by the Royal Canadian Air Force’s acrobatic squadron and by a 767 airliner used as a private jet by Drake, the Toronto rapper who is the team’s “global ambassador.”