Eaton Centre shooting in downtown Toronto causes a stir on Twitter, abroad

Daily Brew

Toronto Blue Jays' player Brett Lawrie and other mall goers took to Twitter to describe the shocking shooting at the food court of Toronto's busiest downtown shopping centre on Saturday night. Police are still hunting for a gunman who killed Ahmed Hassan, 24, and injured seven others on June 2.

Chaos ensued moments after the gunshots were fired. An injured pregnant woman almost gave birth at the scene (police say she is now stable). People took shelter under tiny cafeteria tables. Take a look at these dramatic photos and this video from the scene.

Twitter is flooding with first-hand accounts from shoppers caught up in the shooting.

"Pretty sure someone just let off a round bullets in eaton center mall .. Wow just sprinted out of the mall ... Through traffic," tweeted Toronto Blue Jays infielder Brett Lawrie around 6:30 p.m. "People sprinting up the stairs right from where we just were ... Wow wow wow"

"Rattled right now," he wrote later.

Other posts describe what happened inside.

"Someone started shooting in the #Toronto Eaton centre. I'm 30 ft away and I see him. I grab my son and dive under the table," wrote @raehanbobby.

Take a look at this chilling photo of people hiding inside the mall's cafeteria during the shooting.

Many of the victims are in their 20s. A 13-year-old boy with a gunshot to the head is now in critical but stable condition. The man who was killed in the shooting was reportedly known to police. The investigators suspect that the shooting was targeted rather than a random act of terror against the public.

On Sunday, Toronto struggled to recover from the shock. A community vigil was scheduled for 6 p.m. at the city's busy Yonge-Dundas Square.

"This is not Toronto," wrote the vigil organizer on Facebook. "Toronto is a place where people care about each other. Where people come together despite their differences, share their cultures and build lives."

The news of the shooting spilled across the border, becoming one of top CNN stories on Sunday. And that's aside from the reports of the gruesome murder and dismemberment of the international student Lin Jun in Canada.

In the meantime, Canadians are expressing their outrage and concern. Even the polarizing city Mayor Rob Ford was recognized for showing up at the scene shortly after the shooting.

"I've very little respect for Mayor Ford but anyone who criticized him for showing up @ the Eaton Centre last night can stop following me thx," tweeted @standupguy.

At a Sunday press conference, Ford commented further about the incident.

"We will apprehend the suspect, I guarantee it," he said. "I assure people that this is the safest city in the world."

Read Ford's statement on the shooting, aired on his weekly NEWSTALK 1010 radio show, here.

This isn't the first time gunfire shocked the area. Six were injured and a 15-year-old girl was killed just north of the mall on Boxing Day in 2005.

Police are currently asking the public to contact them with any information that could help the investigation.