Shootout And Riot Erupts At Toronto Raptors NBA Title Celebration In Canada

Reports of shots fired during Toronto Raptors victory parade in Toronto
Police and spectators run as crowds scattered after reports of shots fired in the area where thousands gathered in Nathan Phillips Square to celebrate the Toronto Raptors victory parade in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 17, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Moe Doiron)

Four people were shot, and dozens were wounded during the NBA title celebrations of Toronto Raptors held at the Nathan Phillip Plaza on Monday. The four victims are said to be seriously injured, but not to the extent of a life-threatening injury. Police officers caught the suspects in the shooting and recovered the firearms that had been used. When asked if the shots constituted a specific attack on a person or perhaps a terrorist attack, police said the investigation is still underway.

The citizens of Toronto wanted to celebrate with the new NBA champions, Toronto Raptors and flooded the streets of the city to celebrate its first ever NBA ring. Since dawn, hundreds of fans camped in Nathan Phillips Square, where a stage has been installed, in which the team members, including NBA star Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka will arrive and celebrate with fans.

An estimate of two million people went out in the streets that paralyzed any activity in Toronto. Even the buses and trains were blocked with people getting out of the cars to watch the new NBA champions Toronto Raptors.

But the celebration turned into a fiasco after a suspected fight happens, and gunshots were fired. Moments of panic were experienced as people heard a shooting that caused the people to run at the backstage and all over the place, leaving four wounded by the gunshot and an undefined numbered who ended up injured by the stampede.

Social networks were immediately plagued by videos of the moment after the shooting, through which the stampedes of the fans can be appreciated. Relief teams can be seen evacuating between ten to fifteen people from the square, without their status being known.

The shooting happened during a speech by one of the owners of the team. Sports commentator and master of ceremony, Matt Devlin then took the microphone and told the crowd that the authorities were dealing with an emergency situation and asked the audience to calm down.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Toronto Mayor John Tory, the rapper Drake and players of the Toronto Raptors remain in the stage as the police clear a quarter part of the venue to arrest the suspect and to stop the stampede that had happened. The celebration then continued in spite of the incidents.

Kawhi Leonard said that everything is surreal and is like a dream for him. The forward, who came reluctantly to Toronto, was at first vocal that it was not its desired destination, has become the great star of this team. One of the most outstanding moment was to see how people shouted in unison: "One more year," referring to Kawhi's player option to play for another year rather than choosing to be a free agent when June 30 comes.

The Toronto Raptors won their first-ever NBA championship by defeating last Thursday night in the sixth game of the series, the Golden State Warriors in Oakland USA by 110-114. It is also the first time in history that a Canadian team has won the NBA title after 24 years, a milestone that has made Canadians all over the world rejoice.

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