By Mariana Ionova
A man is in serious condition after he was shot by police near the corner of Shuter and Victoria streets Monday afternoon.
The incident occurred at 1:38 p.m., when police approached a 24-year-old man who was reportedly holding a knife. When police told him to drop it, he refused.
Police reported the man was suicidal and apologetic but then charged towards an officer with the knife in hand.
Police fired twice, shooting the man down. Passersby in the area reported hearing gunshots as far away as Queen Street.
Brendan Rawlins, 22, was going to the Eaton Centre when he saw the man get shot outside of Massey Hall on Shuter Street. The University of Toronto student said the man got within five metres of police before he was shot.
“He looked really pale,” Rawlins said.
“When it first happened he was squirming but by the end he wasn’t moving. It was pretty shocking,” said Rawlins, who took a cellphone photo of the man as he collapsed on the ground.
Rawlins said he could see the man’s left side was soaked in blood but could not see exactly where he was wounded.
Police confiscated the weapon and carried the man across the street to St. Michael’s Hospital. His injuries were described as serious but non-life threatening.
The identity of the man remains unknown.
The incident is being examined by the Special Investigation Unit, which probes into cases where police action leads to injury or death.
Toronto Police Const. Tony Vella said he could not comment on the case while it is undergoing investigation.