2 shot, 2 arrested at Raptors rally; celebration continues

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry holds the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy up for the fans during the NBA basketball championship team's victory parade in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard points at his playoffs MVP trophy as he poses with performing artist Drake during the 2019 Toronto Raptors NBA basketball championship parade in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Fans gather to cheer on the Toronto Raptors during the NBA basketball team's championship parade in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Raptors guard Danny Green smokes a cigar as he celebrates during the 2019 Toronto Raptors NBA basketball championship parade in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard, left to right, smokes a cigar holding his playoffs MVP trophy as he celebrates with performing artist Drake and his mother Kim Robertson during the 2019 Toronto Raptors NBA basketball championship parade in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, right, celebrates with performing artist Drake during the 2019 Toronto Raptors NBA basketball championship parade in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Members of the Toronto Raptors NBA basketball championship team ride on buses during a victory parade in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, left, holds the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy as forward Kawhi Leonard holds his playoffs MVP trophy during the NBA basketball championship team's victory parade in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
An ambulance arrives to the scene after shots were fired during the Toronto Raptors NBA basketball championship victory celebration near Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO — Two people were shot and wounded at a rally Monday for the NBA champion Toronto Raptors that turned into a stampede. Police said there were two arrests.

Droves of Raptors fans ran from the shooting in the City Hall square packed with tens of thousands of fans. A million or more fans earlier packed downtown Toronto for a parade, raising safety concerns amid problems with overcrowding.

Toronto police spokeswoman Allison Sparkes confirmed the shootings and arrests. Two firearms were recovered.

"We have no incidents currently underway. Crowds are dispersing," Sparkes said.

Asked if it was a targeted shooting or terrorism-related, Sparkes said the investigation was underway.

During a speech from one of the team owners the host of the rally interrupted the proceedings to say there were dealing with an emergency situation and asked for calm. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Toronto's mayor, star player Kawhi Leonard the other players were among those on stage at the time. They remained in place and speeches resumed shortly after.

Mike Mudidi said he was enjoying the celebrations when he heard screams behind him that someone had pulled out a gun. He said he froze as people started running in all directions.

"I just grabbed my buddies' hands and ran," he said, noting he was startled but otherwise OK.

Earlier in the day, Mayor John Tory urged every resident to come celebrate the Raptors' first championship and declared this "We The North Day" in Toronto, after the franchise's slogan.

Some 1.5 million fans withstood packed conditions to attend the parade. Nicolas Caramanna, 21, said the crowd started to get rowdy shortly after he arrived at 9 a.m.

"I'm really hot and tired, but I'm going to stick around," he said. "When else am I going to get a chance to do this?"

Many others chose to miss school or work. Cypher Sabanal, 15, said his mom let him skip class to attend the celebration.

"I actually have exams this week, but being here is worth it," he said.

John Moreira called in sick to work so he could be part of Toronto's first celebration of this magnitude since the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993.

"I told my boss I wanted to be at the parade and he said there wasn't much he could do if I called in sick, so that's exactly what I did," the 31-year-old said. "I'm looking forward to seeing the whole team. They all work so hard and deserve all the fans being out here."

As the parade inched forward — discernibly behind schedule — a number of Raptors could not help but marvel at the fan response.

"It's been amazing," star forward Kawhi Leonard said. "Thank you Toronto, thank you Canada for the support, we did it."

Several fans were seen carrying signs imploring Leonard to re-sign with the Raptors. The two-time Finals MVP will be a free agent this summer.

Star guard Kyle Lowry, the team's longest-serving member, was seen hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy while his teammates smoked cigars.

"This is unbelievable," he said.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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