TORONTO — Police said they didn’t believe there were any outstanding suspects following a shooting that left three dead and injured two others at a party at a Toronto Airbnb rental on Friday night.
But Det. Henri Marsman refused to say Saturday morning whether the suspected shooter was among the dead or wounded.
“I don’t want to prematurely say that, but we are looking at that possibility,” he told reporters outside the downtown Toronto condo building where the shooting took place shortly before 10:30 p.m.
He said two of the shooting victims died at the scene after shots rang out on the 32nd floor, while a third was pronounced dead in hospital. A fourth man was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening.
A fifth person was treated at the scene for a cut, Marsman said.
Watch: Toronto-area mayors call for action at border following forum on gun violence. Story continues below.
He said investigators are working to figure out what led up to the shooting and why everyone was there.
“My understanding is they were all there for the party,” he said. “We’re still looking into that and I wouldn’t want to prematurely say that.”
He declined to say whether anyone involved was known to police.
Marsman said the deceased were 19, 20 and 22 years old, but that police were still double-checking their identities and notifying their families.
Toronto Mayor John Tory issued a statement saying he’s as committed as ever to reducing the rate of gun violence in the city.
“The shooting overnight is, as with others, completely unacceptable,” he said.
Late last year, Airbnb announced a ban on so-called “party houses” after five people were killed at a Halloween Party at a rental in Orinda, Calif., that was listed on their site. The ban prohibited “open-invite” parties in which organizers open up the home to anyone who wants to attend, for instance by advertising on social media.
The company also said it was banning “large parties and events” in Airbnb listings in multi-family residences such as apartments and condos.
It said it was using technology to figure out which bookings were likely for unauthorized parties, examining things like how big the properties were compared to how long they were booked for.
A spokeswoman for Airbnb declined to comment on the efficacy of those safety measures but said the company is aware of this incident.
“The safety of our community is our priority and we are urgently investigating this incident to understand if an Airbnb guest or host was involved,” she said in an email.
The shooting overnight is, as with others, completely unacceptable.John Tory, Toronto Mayor
This is not the first shooting at an Airbnb-based party in Toronto. A Humber College student filed a lawsuit against the company after he was shot in the pelvis while attending an “Airbnb mansion party” last April that was advertised online.
He said Airbnb should have known that minimally furnished rental properties were commonly used for parties and events where violence occurred. For its part, the company said it had removed the person who booked the house from its platform.
In Ottawa, police were investigating a shooting at an Airbnb in the city’s downtown area just last month. That incident left an 18-year-old dead and injured three others.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2020.