Man shot and killed in downtown Kitchener, white Mercedes sought near Mississauga

One man is dead after what Waterloo Regional Police (WRPS) describe as a "targeted" shooting in downtown Kitchener Thursday morning, and police are looking for a white Mercedes that was last seen in the Erin Mills neighbourhood of Mississauga.

The shooting was near Pandora Avenue N. and King Street shortly after 11 a.m., and the man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Witnesses told police two men were seen driving away in a white Mercedes-Benz C230.

'We were just there'

Beth Lanigan, who lives nearby on Fairview Avenue, between Weber and King Street, said she heard gunshots at around 11:13. 

Lanigan said she then took her 18-month old child to the back of the house. 

"You keep thinking, 'What if we'd been down the street? You know, we were just there. I walk there all the time with my two girls in a wagon. I walk there with my toddler looking at every dandelion. It's just a strange feeling to be so close," Lanigan said.     

Tod Ainsworth, who lives at 555 King St E. said he heard gunshots when he was taking out the garbage. 

"It was a little scary. I thought they were shooting at me, that's how loud it was and close," said Ainsworth. "Then I heard the ambulance two minutes later." 

Escape on 401

Police said the vehicle took off eastbound on Highway 401, but left the highway briefly at Highway 6 south before getting back on the 401.

Police said that's when officers collided with a pickup truck.

Peggy Lam/CBC

An officer and the truck driver suffered minor injuries in the crash. A police vehicle was forced off the highway in the collision, and the badly damaged truck came to rest nearby.

Halton Police joined the search when it was reported to be near Erin Mills in Mississauga. 

A hold and secure at nearby Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute in Kitchener was in place after the shooting. It was lifted at just before 1 p.m. Thursday. 

Transit buses usually travelling on King Street were also rerouted around the crime scene.