UPDATE: Police have arrested Nahom Tsegazab, 19, in connection with a deadly shooting at a Toronto block party.

TORONTO -- Toronto police were sending reinforcements Tuesday to a diverse east-end neighbourhood as they vowed to relentlessly root out the gunmen who opened fire at a bustling block party, killing two people and sending scores of others to hospital.

About 200 people were at the barbecue party held outside a community housing complex Monday night when gunmen sprayed the crowd with bullets in what police are calling the worst incident of gun violence in the city's recent history.

Police said 23 people were sent to hospital with gunshot wounds, including a 22-month-old child who was grazed by a bullet and is in stable condition. One person was trampled in the stampede that followed.

Some of the wounded, aged between one and 33 years old, have been treated and released. One male is undergoing surgery and remains in critical condition, police said.

Officials identified the two people killed as 14-year-old Shyanne Charles and 23-year-old man Joshua Yasay.

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Police Chief Bill Blair said police suspect the shooting was gang related.

"We believe from information that we have received to date that this altercation involved two individuals and as a result there was an exchange of gunfire,'' Blair said at a news conference.

A "significant'' number of officers were deployed to the community Tuesday and Blair said they would remain for several weeks to soothe residents left shaken and fearful by the attack.

Blair said police have received "some co-operation'' from witnesses at the scene, and called on all community members who attended the party to help with the investigation.

Police also asked for anyone with video or photos of the incident to send them in.

"I'm here today to make an appeal through you all, to the many hundreds of people who were present at the event yesterday who may have some information relevant to this investigation to come forward,'' Blair said.

"We are very concerned not only with the quick resolution and solving of this crime but the potential for retaliatory violence, which we often see in this type of event,'' Blair said.

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The incident took place before 11 p.m. on Danzig Street near Morningside Avenue and Lawrence Avenue East.

The street was still strewn with empty water bottles and other remnants of the party on Tuesday, as swaths of police tape surrounded the area.

Shannon Longshaw said the party, which she helped organize, started as an afternoon barbecue for neighbourhood kids. But even as the crowd grew later in the day, she said the festivities stayed friendly _ until shots suddenly rang out.

"There was no fighting, nobody got into an altercation, none of that,'' she said Tuesday morning, after spending much of the night being questioned by officers.

Bruce Strachan has lived in the area his whole life, but said he's now thinking of moving away.

"This is shocking,'' he said, watching police comb over the scene.

"I've got my two granddaughters living with me here. I brought them up from Trinidad to be safe from this type of violence and it's right around my corner.''

Tears shone in one man's eyes as he recalled walking out of a friend's house and into the crowded celebration just moments before violence erupted.

"I saw people running, I heard 'crack, crack' and I hit the ground,'' said the man, who did not want to be identified out of concern for his safety.

"It was like a Quentin Tarantino movie,'' he said, calling it the most frightening thing he had ever seen in more than four decades in the neighbourhood.

Police described the shootout, which involved multiple guns, as an ``unprecedented'' episode of violence.

Blair said the incident was ``shocking to every Torontonian.''

"I think it will be shocking to all of Canada,'' Blair said Monday night from the scene of the crime. ``The level of violence is something we have never experienced.''

One injured "person of interest'' is in custody, police said.

Mayor Rob Ford visited the scene of what he called a ``horrible tragedy'' Tuesday and sought to reassure residents that Toronto remains safe, despite several high-profile shootings in recent weeks.

"We've had a couple of isolated incidents ... I know this is the safest city in the world, I've always said that, I truly believe it,'' said Ford.

"Everyone has to move on and carry on with their life,'' he added.

Federal and provincial officials quickly condemned the violence.

"The actions that unfolded there sadden us and anger us at the same time,'' Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said. "They are, in a word, outrageous, something that we cannot and will not stand for, we will not tolerate.''

Monday night's shooting came just weeks after a gunman opened fire in a crowded food court at Toronto's Eaton Centre. One man was killed instantly, another died of his injuries days later and several bystanders were sent to hospital.

In another recent incident, a man was shot in Toronto's east end shortly after the Canada Day fireworks display at the city's waterfront.

As well, a man was gunned down at a cafe in Toronto's Little Italy on June 18.

And Jane Creba, 15, died after getting caught in the crossfire of a shootout between rival gangs on Yonge Street while it was crowded with Boxing Day shoppers in 2005.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Shyanne Charles, 14, was killed in the shooting on Scarborough's Danzig Street.

  • Police interview neighbours on Tuesday July 17, 2012 near the scene of a shooting on Danzig Street where 19 people were injured and 2 confirmed dead at an outdoor barbecue that took place on Monday July 16, 2012.

  • Neighbours watch on as police walk by on Tuesday July 17, 2012 near the scene of a shooting on Danzig Street where 19 people were injured and 2 confirmed dead at an outdoor barbecue that took place on Monday July 16, 2012 .

  • Mayor Rob Ford speaks to media after visiting the scene of Monday night's shooting on Danzig St. in Toronto on Tuesday July 17, 2012. Toronto police are calling for witnesses to come forward following a deadly shooting at an outdoor neighbourhood party that left two people dead and sent 21 others to hospital, including an infant, in what police are calling the worst incident of gun violence in the city's recent history.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Mayor Rob Ford (right) visits the scene of Monday night's shooting on Danzig St. in Toronto on Tuesday July 17, 2012. Toronto police are calling for witnesses to come forward following a deadly shooting at an outdoor neighbourhood party that left two people dead and sent 21 others to hospital, including an infant, in what police are calling the worst incident of gun violence in the city's recent history.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Shyanne Charles, 14, was killed in the shooting on Scarborough's Danzig Street.

  • Joshua Yasay, 23, was killed in the shooting.

  • Shyanne Charles, 14, was killed in the shooting on Scarborough's Danzig Street.

  • Police interview neighbors near the scene of a shooting in Toronto, on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. Two people are dead and 19 were injured as gunfire broke out late Monday night as more than 200 people attended an outdoor community barbecue. Police described the shootout, which involved multiple guns, as an "unprecedented" episode of violence. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Aaron Vincent Elkaim )

  • Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair arrives for a news conference on Monday night's fatal shooting at a street party in Scarborough, in Toronto, Tuesday, July 17, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Willms

  • Police interview neighbors near the scene of a shooting in Toronto, on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. Two people are dead and 19 were injured as gunfire broke out late Monday night as more than 200 people attended an outdoor community barbecue. Police described the shootout, which involved multiple guns, as an "unprecedented" episode of violence. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Aaron Vincent Elkaim )

  • Shannon Longshaw;

  • Police stand on guard on Tuesday July 17, 2012 on Danzig Street near the scene of a shooting where 19 people were injured and 2 confirmed dead at an outdoor barbecue that took place on Monday July 16, 2012 . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • A police officer places a marker on Danzig Street in Toronto on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 near the scene of Monday night's shooting. Toronto police are calling for witnesses to come forward following a deadly shooting at an outdoor neighbourhood party that left two people dead and sent 21 others to hospital, including an infant, in what police are calling the worst incident of gun violence in the city's recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Pedestrians look on near the scene of a shooting in Toronto early Tuesday, July 17, 2012, that left 19 people injured and two dead at a house party late Monday July 16. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair speaks to the media in Toronto early Tuesday, July 17, 2012, near the scene of a shooting that left 19 people injured and two dead at a house party late Monday, July 16. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair walks down Morningside Ave in Toronto early Tuesday, July 17, 2012, following a shooting that left 19 people injured and two dead at a house party late Monday, July 16. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Police stand on guard on Morningside Ave. in Toronto early Tuesday, July 17, 2012, near the scene of a shooting where 19 people were injured and two dead at a house party late Monday, July 16. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair speaks to media in Toronto early Tuesday, July 17, 2012, near the scene of a shooting where 19 people were injured and two were left dead at a house party late Monday July 16. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • A man is attended to on the scene and loaded onto a gurney for transport following a shooting that left 19 injured and two dead in Toronto late Monday, July 16, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Toronto Star - Rick Madonik

  • ETF officers stand guard following a shooting that left 19 injured and two dead in Toronto late Monday, July 16, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Toronto Star - Rick Madonik



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@ CityNews : Earlier, @torontopolice chief Blair had said 23 injured by gunfire, including 2 shot dead. Now at 25. #danzigshooting

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Toronto Police have released the name of the victims

@ CityNews : #BREAKING: 2 victims in #Scarborough barbecue shooting identified: Shyanne Charles, 14 of Toronto and Joshua Yasay, 23, of Ajax. #DANZIG

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According to the Globe and Mail, shooting victim Shyanne Charles lived a few blocks away from the scene of the shooting.

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@ AdrianMorrow : "She was generous and joyful and she never put anyone down," one of Shyanne Charles's friends said of her #TOpoli

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The 14-year-old girl shot and killed has is Shyanne Charles, Global has confirmed.

There are peopled gathered at the scene of the incident with signs and flowers for a memorial.

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Thanks for following the liveblog, we'll be back when Toronto Police homicide squad provides more updates at 3 p.m. today.

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Toronto Police have set up a web page for sending tips, photos and video from the night of the shooting.

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According to Toronto Police statistics, 2012 has been a bad year for gun violence in Toronto.

By this time last year, there had been 106 shootings with 124 victims. As of July 17, 2012, Toronto has seen 142 shootings, a 35 per cent increase. Total victims is higher as well, with 177 so far this year.

Some are calling 2012 Year of the Gun part two, in reference to 2005 when 52 people were killed by gun violence.

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Witnesses can contact the homicide squad at 416-808-7400 or homicide@torontopolice.on.ca.

Tips can also be made anonymously through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS

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Uniformed police had attended to the party earlier in the day to respond to noise complaints, but otherwise police were not planning to monitor the event.

Chief Blair said that similar to the 2005 Boxing Day shooting at Yonge and Dundas and the more recent shooting at the Eaton Centre, innocent bystanders being caught in the cross fire seems to be a trademark of gang violence.

"They seem quite willing to engage in violence in very public settings," he says.

He added that those who associates with gang members are putting themselves at risk of being a victim of violence.

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Toronto mayor Rob Ford says that Toronto is the safest city in North America and that this shooting was an isolated incident. He made similar comments after the shooting at the Eaton Centre that killed two and injured bystanders.

Ford said the scene of the shooing looked "like the aftermath of a party except for a lot of [bullet] casings."

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"We are looking at the involvement of gangs in this matter," says Blair.

He added that the "brazen" violence last night was characteristic of gang activity.

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Blair says there are suspected gang ties to last night's shooting, but can't confirm any specifics.

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Chief Bill Blair is urging the approximately 200 people present at the block party to cooperate with police. He says police have received some cooperation from party-goers, but are asking for any witnesses to contact the homicide squad.

He says that the shooting "demands a response from the entire city."

In the mean time, Toronto Police will also be deploying extra officers to area

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Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair says that police believe there were two individuals exchanging gunfire.

He says a total of 23 people were shot, including the two deaths — a 14-year-old female and a 23-year-old male.

A 22-month-old infant was grazed by a bullet but is expected to recover.

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The mother of the teenage girl who died last night begged for her to live as she lay on the street awaiting medical attention, reports the Toronto Star. A man identified as Phil told the Star that it took 30 minutes for help to arrive.

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@ omarsachedina : Police carrying bags. Notice yellow evidence markers on the scene. #DanzigShooting @CTVNews http://t.co/nks58XGK

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@ TorontoPolice : Chief Blair will update the media at 11 am, at HQ, media gallery, on the double homicide/multiple shooting #danzigshooting~wd

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In addition to the 19 people wounded by gunshots, a further three suffered trampling injuries in the panic that followed after shots rang out, reports CBC.

Among the injured is a two-year-old who was shot in the head.

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Toronto Police are expected to give a press conference on last night's shooting that killed two young people at a block party.

We'll be bringing you live updates on our live blog. Stay tuned.

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