Two masked gunmen stormed a moving company in upstate York and opened fire on officials on Thursday morning in an alleged robbery that went awry.
Toronto police confirmed that two people were shot shortly before 10:20 am during the Hercules Moving & Storage incident at Magnetic Dr. – near Dufferin St. and Steeles Ave. W.
"Our evidence now tells us that this was indeed a robbery," Chief Mark Saunders said at the scene as heavily armed tactical police guarded the area.
"Two suspects arrived on the scene, demands were made and people were shot," he added.
A man was rushed to a trauma center in Toronto after being taken to a nearby hospital in the York area.
A woman was also injured by gunfire and taken to hospital. And a third victim, also a woman, was taken to hospital suffering from anxiety.
Saunders said it appears that the moving company was "targeted" by gunmen believed to have fled on foot.
It was not immediately clear why the bad guys attacked the deal and no suspicious description was released.
Damon Moran, a Hercules contractor who arrived at work to "change trucks" a few minutes after the armed robbery, said he felt "very lucky" that he was not caught in the gunfire.
"When I arrived, I called my boss and he told me there was a shooting," said Moran, 28, in a Home Depot parking lot across the street.
Moments later, the police arrived, broke down the door and entered, he said, explaining that the officers located two colleagues who were "hidden inside" and escorted them out.
They were "shaken," Moran said, adding that one of the women had no shoes, so he gave her an extra pair of his vehicle.
The victims are co-workers, but he said he doesn't know them well, because he has been working for the company for about a month.
He said he is "worried" about them and hopes they are all "fine".
"And I'm grateful to be safe," he added.
Timea Fabok, who works alongside Alliance Floor Source, heard someone shouting "call 911" and initially thought it might be a "joke."
After making the call, she and her co-workers waited until the police arrived and evacuated business at the industrial complex.
"It's really very scary," Fabok said on the spot, adding that armed violence "is happening all too often" in the city.
As of November 9, there were 427 gunfire incidents and 640 gunfire casualties in the city so far this year – 18% and 31%, respectively, from the same period in 2018, a year that set record highs for both.
Anyone with information about the moving company theft is called to call the police at 416-808-3200 or the Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
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