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Rash of shootings at Mississauga nightclub draws heightened police presence

A series of shootings at a Mississauga nightclub has prompted Peel police to increase patrols at night around the establishment.

Peel Regional Police say there have been five shootings since Jan. 1, 2021 at HER, an adult entertainment club on Eglinton Avenue East near Dixie Road. The latest happened in the parking lot early Sunday and has left one man in his 20s in critical but stable condition. 

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), meanwhile, says it is reviewing the club’s liquor licence. And the city of Mississauga says its bylaw enforcement officers are increasing checks of the club to ensure it is complying with city bylaws.

Const. Philip Yake, spokesperson for Peel Regional Police, said on Tuesday that the police are working to create a safer environment around the club and want the business to attract “a better sort of crowd.”

“We’re working hard with our partners at the Alcohol and Gaming Commission, as well as the City of Mississauga and Mississauga bylaw, to rectify this situation,” Yake said.

On Sunday at 3 a.m., police found shell casings in the parking lot and damage to a building, before they found two injured men in their 20s in a vehicle at Hurontario Road and Robert Speck Parkway in Mississauga. 

One was treated at the scene and released. The other, who was struck with a bullet, was taken to a trauma centre. There have been no arrests.

Police said in a tweet that a stray bullet went through the front window of a restaurant in the same plaza but it was empty and no one else was injured.

The latest shooting at the club happened in its parking lot early Sunday and has left one man in his 20s in critical but stable condition. (Christopher Mulligan/CBC)

On Aug. 12, police issued a public safety alert to warn about the “heightened risks” of going to the club. 

According to police, officers have responded to more than two dozen incidents in and around the club since Jan. 1, 2021, seizing six firearms and dealing with several calls involving disorderly behaviour. Police said calls for service at the club are consuming resources.

“Peel Regional Police continue to work to mitigate the public safety risks associated with this location,” police said in the warning. “The elevated police resources allocated to responding to calls for service at this establishment impact our ability to respond to other priority calls promptly.”

The AGCO, for its part, said it has to talked police about the situation.

“We’ve been in contact with Peel Regional Police Service and are reviewing the circumstances as related to the holder of this liquor licence,” the commission said in an email.

“Should the holder of a licence be found to be in violation of the Act, the AGCO Registrar has the authority to take a range of regulatory actions up to and including issuing a proposal to revoke the licence.”

CBC Toronto has reached out to the club for comment but has received no official response. Yake said the owner is working with police to lower the risks associated with its business.

Shooting ‘deeply concerning,’ mayor says

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said in a statement on Monday that the shooting is “deeply concerning.” 

“I strongly urge the public to heed the advice of police and refrain from attending this establishment,” Crombie said.

“Gun and gang violence has no place in Mississauga and I will continue to work with Peel Police to find solutions that prevent violence and keep our community safe.”

Crombie says bylaw enforcement officers, who have increased checks on the business, are working closely with police.

Police would like anyone at the club on Sunday at 3 a.m., anyone driving by, or any owners of local businesses to come forward if they have cell phone, dashboard camera or security camera footage that could shed light on the latest shooting.

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