'This shouldn't happen in our community'
Police are searching for two men after shots rang out in downtown St. Catharines.
Emergency responders raced to the area near Karma nightclub Sunday morning around 2:30 a.m. after six people, four men and two women, were injured.
Two people were taken to out-of-region hospitals - one person was airlifted.
The ages of the injured people range from 31 - 48, but police will not be releasing more information while the search for suspects continues.
Niagara Regional Police Chief Bryan MacCulloch says there was increased police presence downtown when the shooting happened.
"There were officers less than 100 yards away from where the shooting took place. There was a police cruiser that drove by just seconds before the shooting took place. I know there's been a call for increased presence in the downtown, but there was a presence in the downtown. It just goes to show the brazen attitudes of the individuals that would involve themselves in this type of incident."
Niagara Regional Police officials will be using drones to help gather evidence today and will continue to canvas the area.
St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik also responded to the shooting, saying he was angry, frustrated, and left with a lot of questions when he woke up to the news Sunday morning.
"These folks, these individuals who are carrying these guns feel so confident that no one is going to catch them with an illegal handgun - and I have to ask myself, why is that? These downtowns or communities are being ripped apart by gun violence and yet individuals seem to think that they can just carry these guns concealed and nothing is going to happen to them. And so it's frustrating because you've got the police doing everything they could, we've got cameras in our downtown, we're looking to install more cameras in our downtown, we're asking for more police to be in our downtown, but this is all after the fact. The cameras are only good when a crime is being committed."
Sendzik maintained that the downtown is safe. "This shouldn't happen in our community, and it shouldn't happen in communities like ours."
Niagara Regional Police have released photos of two male suspects.
Officials are also asking any witnesses, particularly witnesses with camera footage, to come forward. Anonymous tips can also be left with Crime Stoppers.
"Somebody out there knows something," Chief MacCulloch says. "We're hoping somebody has captured something on their cameras, or there may be some other stores in the area that have video."
He adds CCTV cameras have played a big part in the investigation so far.
At this time, investigators believe this was not a random incident; they believe it stemmed from an argument between two men.
Witnesses are asked to contact police at 905-688-4111, dial option 3, Badge #9451 or email Jordan.Atkinson@niagarapolice.ca
To leave a tip with Crime Stoppers call 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or go to www.niagaratips.ca
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