Police: Real estate broker killed in 'targeted' shooting at Toronto restaurant
Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Sunday, September 17, 2017 11:22AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, September 17, 2017 12:08PM EDT
One man is dead after shots rang out inside an upscale steakhouse in Toronto’s entertainment district on Saturday night.
The gunfire started inside Michael’s on Simcoe just before 9 p.m. Paramedics could be seen outside the restaurant performing CPR on the victim. Simon Giannini, 53, was rushed to hospital without vital signs and pronounced dead.
Det. Shannon Dawson said a male gunman wearing a hooded jacket and covering his face walked into the busy restaurant, approached the victim, and shot him multiple times. Dawson said police believe the real estate broker's shooting was targeted. A motive for the attack is not yet known.
Frene DiMaso said she was seated on the upper level of the restaurant when she heard four shots. She said people took cover under their tables as the maître d’ told patrons to stay down. At one point, all of the guests were said to have been told to leave.
One employee said she ran into the restaurant’s lounge and tended to Giannini before first responders arrived.
“I applied pressure to his exit wound,” she said. “It was pretty crazy.”
Giannini authored a book titled “Everything You Wanted To Know About Real Estate But Were Afraid To Ask.” He also hosted a radio program called “The Real Estate Talk Show.”
Police said they are looking for a suspect in a gray hoodie who was last seen fleeing down a nearby street in a white SUV. They have not released a detailed description.
The incident comes two years after another shooting in the same restaurant. Two masked gunmen opened fire on a man and woman eating at Michael’s on Simcoe on Sept. 25, 2015. Both survived, but suffered serious injuries. Dawson said police do not believe the two incidents are related.
Owner Michael Dabic said he is shocked that his eatery is the scene of another shooting. He added that his daughter was among the approximately 150 people inside the restaurant when the shooting took place on Saturday night.
Dabic said the victim of Saturday’s violence was eating at a table with another man when he was shot.
Homicide detectives have taken over the case. Police are looking to speak with any available witnesses, especially if they have cell phone footage of the incident.
“It was a busy restaurant. I’m sure it was very frightening for the customers who were at the restaurant. And that is why we think many of them may have fled very quickly and perhaps those people haven’t had a chance to speak to us,” Dawson said.
No other injuries were reported.
With files from The Canadian Press