A day after the fatal shooting at the Eaton Centre, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford started his weekly NEWSTALK 1010 radio show with a statement on the Eaton Centre shooting. Here’s a copy of his remarks:
Today’s show will be a little bit different.
I wanted to be here to begin the show this afternoon, and to say something about yesterday’s terrible tragedy at the Eaton Centre.
Then, I’m going to leave the show in my brother’s capable hands as I have some difficult work to do.
Yesterday just before 6:30, gunfire erupted in the middle of Eaton Centre — one of Toronto’s biggest and busiest shopping malls. That mall is a short walk from my office at City Hall. It’s in the heart of Toronto.
And every heart in Toronto was torn last night, as we all learned about the horrible tragedy that resulted from a senseless, cowardly crime. One man was killed. Seven others were seriously hurt.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to each and every one of these innocent victims. I’m a father, a football coach, and the mayor of this wonderful city. I have to admit — it’s very hard for me to accept what happened downtown last night.
For a brief, tragic moment — that food court was a terrible, dangerous place to be. And that brief flash of horror will forever change too many families.
But I also know that Toronto is a safe city. Yesterday’s crime was extremely unusual. Things like that do not happen very often in our city — and we plan to keep it that way.
Our city is home to almost 3 million people, from every walk of life. Millions of people travel downtown and across the city every day to work, to accomplish great things, to shop, to be with family and to have fun. They do it safely every day and will continue to do so safely. Toronto is an amazing, fun, safe city and we will NOT accept this kind of violence in our community.
However, last night the harmony of our City WAS disrupted by a brief cowardly act of violence.
Our police, fire and emergency medical services responded immediately and professionally last night. They worked together under difficult and dangerous conditions to get the injured people to medical care as quickly as possible. And they got the innocent bystanders out to safety without further harm.
Last night, I heard some stories of amazing teamwork and even heroism. I heard about paramedics rushing into the scene while shots were still being fired. I heard about police working together to get EMS safely and quickly into the danger zone to help the injured. I heard about fire fighters carrying victims up from the lowest levels and out to safety. And, I heard how members of the Mall’s security team worked fearlessly with our first responders to make sure people were evacuated safely. All of this — with the threat of further violence hanging over their heads as police still searched room-by-room for the shooter.
Ladies and gentlemen, We WILL catch the person responsible for this horrific, cowardly crime.
We have the best police service in the world — and they will follow every lead, and track this thug down.
But, folks, our police will need your help to catch this person — and to get a conviction.
Now is the time for us to work together, as a community, to help our police. If you were at the Eaton Centre last night during this incident – please call police at 416.808.5200 or – if you want to remain anonymous – call CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Even if you don’t think you saw or heard anything important – if you were there, call police and give them your name. You may have seen something before or after that will help their investigation. Your call may be the one that makes the difference.