TORONTO -- A Euro Cup win for Italy quickly turned into horror in the city's Little Italy neighbourhood when one man was killed and another wounded in an execution-style shooting that took place in an iconic ice cream shop on College St.
A number of witnesses said a person dressed as a construction worker wearing a vest, hard hat and white gloves briskly walked into the Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe and fired at least five shots, killing a 35-year-old man and injuring a 20-year-old at around 3:30 p.m. on Monday.
The victim was sitting on the packed patio with friends when the killer opened fire and escaped in the ensuing commotion, police suspect.
The shaken owner of the parlour, which has been an area landmark for more than 30 years, refused to comment.
Hundreds of fans celebrating Italy's win over Ireland could have heard the shots as all the bars and patios in the area were packed.
The games and partying continued for about an hour with a body draped in a blanket behind police tape. The TTC was forced to divert its streetcar service along that stretch of College St., and more than a dozen small businesses had to close for hours because they were behind police lines.
Toronto Police officers were scouring the area on Monday searching for evidence and video footage from security cameras.
Const. Wendy Drummond said many people were in the area at the time of the gunfire to watch the soccer games on TV.
"We have a number of witnesses who have come forward," Drummond said. "We don't have a description of a suspect and there has been no arrests."
Resident Theresa Perez said she has been living in the area for more than 25-years and crime is not a problem.
"This area is very safe," Perez said. "It is a very good area and an incident like this is rare."
Mark Poulton said he heard five shots and ran outside and saw people running.
"At first I thought the shots were noise from the soccer game," Poulton said. "We have never had a shooting like this before in the community."
Some residents, who didn't want their names used, said the victim, whose first name is apparently "Johnny," was well-known in Little Italy and may have had ties to organized crime.
They describe the shooting as a "public hit" by a Mafia hitman that was carried out on a day when most Italians were watching their national team play soccer in Little Italy.
"They (Mafia) wanted to send a message," one man said. "They know everybody will be here watching the game."
Toronto city councillor Michael Layton said he lives two blocks away from the shooting.
"It is a tragedy and it is frightening," Layton said. "It is similar to the shooting at the Eaton Centre a couple weeks ago,"
Layton again called for a ban on guns on city streets.
Two alleged gang members were killed and several others, including a 13-year-old boy, were injured earlier this month in gunfire in the food court of the busy shopping centre.
One man has been charged and is before the courts.