Some of you may have heard about the hostage situation here in Toronto yesterday. I was already at work when it happened, but a customer told us about it. The guy took a couple of shots at his estranged wife in the basement mall of one of the big office buildings downtown. (Most of them have a mall with a food court and several shops. I work in a mall like that, but quite a distance from where this all happened.) When she fell down, he began to beat her with the gun. Witnesses seem to agree that she wasn’t actually hit by the bullets, but she was bleeding from the beating.
The man then left the building and walked towards Union Station, which is the big junction for subway, VIA Rail trains, and GO buses and trains. He took a woman hostage when he got there, and proceeded to point the gun at her head and walk back and forth in front of Union Station. Police evacuated the street and the upper part of the station. The subway kept running, but no one was let off at that stop. After about 45 minutes of negotiation, a police sniper took a shot and hit the man in the head. He had made some sort of movement with his gun towards the woman before he was shot, but she was totally unharmed.
Here’s a news story about it, with video. The news reporter is standing in front of Union Station, but it is usually much busier then it is there.
It is a strange thing, really. The man was just out in the open with his hostage. There are many places he could have taken at least partial shelter behind. I think that maybe he knew what was going to happen and didn’t really care. Everyone here seems content with the actions of the police, which is a miracle in this city. Every time the police shoot someone here, which happens about once a month, people are up in arms. (If you’ll pardon the pun.)
Interestingly enough, the subway was closed down for about an hour late this afternoon because someone jumped in front of a train. It is always exciting around here.