People were 'dropping like flies' at mass shooting: Witness

Police survey a crime scene following a shooting in Scarborough, a suburb in east Toronto, July 17,...

Police survey a crime scene following a shooting in Scarborough, a suburb in east Toronto, July 17, 2012. Two people were killed and at least 19 injured in a shooting at an outdoor party in Toronto, police said on Tuesday, raising fresh fears of a rise in gun crime in Canada's largest city. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

Chris Doucette, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:53 PM ET

TORONTO - The dust has settled on Danzig St., but residents of an east-end townhouse complex say the memory of the hellish night 25 people were shot will never fade.

Some who live in the public housing community claim the first shots erupted around 10:40 p.m. Monday, hitting one young man, who then pulled out a gun as he hit the ground and returned fire, letting loose a barrage of bullets.

If that's true, it would explain why so many innocent bystanders were hit, many of them in their lower body and legs.

Melissa Warren-Paul had just gone inside her home, steps from where some 200 mostly young people were gathered between two rows of townhouses, when she heard at least 15 shots ring out.

"I looked outside and saw people running for their lives, screaming and dropping like flies as they realized they were shot," the longtime resident said Wednesday.

She lives at 193 Danzig St., the unit police initially reported as the location of the deadly party. But the mother of three wants people to know she had nothing to do with it.

Warren-Paul spotted three terrified teen girls and whisked them into her home. One girl, 15, was shot in her arm.

"The bullet went through the bone, her arm was limp," she said.

After administering first aid and calling 911, she left the wounded girl with her 11-year-old daughter and went out into the darkness on a frantic search for her 13-year-old boy, "Bluie," not knowing whether he was alive or dead.

"I was turning bodies over to see if they were him," Warren-Paul said, adding she later learned he was safe in a house across the street.

A man who also lives near where the party was held and did not want his name used said he also helped a wounded girl, maybe 14.

"She was shot, like, five times in her butt," he said.

Many residents complained they were left on their own to treat the wounded, not knowing if the shooters were still around, while paramedics sat in their ambulances parked on the street for up to 30 minutes.

Some claim they were even told by cops to drive the injured to hospital. But those who tried were then prevented from exiting the street by cops because the area was a crime scene.

Police activity in the area slowed to a crawl by Wednesday.

"The scene has been processed," Const. Wendy Drummond said. "Investigators are now looking at the information and evidence they've gathered and putting the pieces of the puzzle together to determine what transpired."

She said no charges have been laid against the one wounded man who was taken into custody after the shooting and described as "a person of interest."

Ten victims remained in hospitals, three of them in the ICU. The other 13 survivors have been released.

chris.doucette@sunmedia.ca


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