Police make arrest in Toronto mall shooting

Mon Jun 4, 2012 8:22am EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A suspect has been arrested in the shooting at a downtown Toronto shopping mall that left one man dead and six others wounded on the weekend, police said on Monday.

Toronto police confirmed the arrest via their official Twitter account but declined to provide further details. A spokeswoman said a news conference would be held at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT).

The shooting occurred Saturday evening at the Eaton Centre, one of Toronto's top tourist destinations. It shocked Canada's largest city, which has a reputation as one of the safest in North America.

Police said on Sunday they believed they knew the identity of the shooter and said the victim, 24-year-old Toronto resident Ahmed Hassan, may have had some gang affiliation.

"Our investigation clearly suggests that this is a targeted shooting and not a random act of violence against the members of the general public," Brian Borg, a Toronto police detective, said in a media briefing on Sunday.

"Whether this is a gang-motivated shooting has not been definitively determined. But I can say it is being closely looked at given that at least one of the victims has known gang associations."

The incident revived memories of another shooting close to Eaton Centre on December 26, 2005, when a 15-year-old girl was killed and several other people were wounded. That shooting was believed to be gang-related.

Canada has stringent controls on handguns and a lower rate of gun-related violence than the United States.

(Reporting By Euan Rocha; Editing by Janet Guttsman and Paul Simao)