A man who opened fire on early morning fitness class in Toronto park worked out with the group for at least 30 minutes before the shooting, witnesses say. The incident, in which two people were injured, happened just before 9 a.m. Witnesses say a man joined a free “prison-themed” boot camp at Christie Pits park in the city’s west end. He reportedly worked out for about half an hour before opening fire. The suspect then fled the scene, police say.
Officers arrived at the scene to find the 35-year-old fitness class instructor with a gunshot wound in the abdomen. He was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery, and is now recovering.
A second man was hit in the foot by a bullet, police said. The 20-year-old is in serious condition, but expected to fully recover.
Police would not say whether they thought the instructor or the fitness class participants were targeted.
“I don’t think we are at the point where we are willing to make any sort of statement about this being a targeted shooting,” Toronto Const. Craig Brister said. “Investigators are still conducting interviews with witnesses so we are trying to be careful with what information we are releasing. We don’t want to taint any recollection from witnesses.”
According to a statement from 25/7 Fitness, the company that runs the outdoor fitness class, at least a dozen people were in attendance when the shots rang out. The “Prison Pump” class is intended to mimic the sort of workout inmates get behind bars.
The suspect is described as a black male between 25 and 30 with a dark complexion and short cornrows hanging from underneath a baseball cap.
He stands between five-feet-eight inches and five-feet-nine inches tall. Police say he wore a black baseball cap, a black hoodie with a white logo in the centre, black sweat pants with a light logo on the left front hip area, light-coloured running shoes, and dark sunglasses with gold trim on the sides.
Police say the suspect is armed and dangerous and should not be approached if seen.
Anyone with information is being asked to call police at 416-808-1400.
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