Police investigate the southeast part of the Polson Street parking lot adjacent to the Sound Academy after a late night shooting during the Young Jeezy concert at the Sound Academy in Toronto, ON on April 5, 2012.
Credits: LAURA PEDERSON/QMI AGENCY
Gunshots were fired at the Sound Academy in Toronto on Wednesday, sending hundreds of people fleeing from the nightclub and leaving one man with multiple gunshot wounds in serious condition.
"We were aware of the shooting in Toronto the night before," London police Const. Anthea Fordyce said Friday of the extra measures police took for the show at the London Music Hall.
The shooting happened during a fight inside the club just after 11:30 p.m. Thursday, police said. Witnesses described a chaotic aftermath as concert-goers ran for the exits while others helped an unconscious man lying facedown on the floor.
A London man was taken by ambulance to hospital, where he was listed in serious condition with what police said were non-life-threatening wounds. Two other men were treated for superficial wounds.
Police continue to hunt for the shooter.
A man who was at the club said he was listening to two men from an opening act when a "loud" gunshot rang out from the back bar.
"When you heard the real gunshot, that was just ... I couldn't even process how close I was to something like that. It was just unbelievable," he said.
After "one or two" gunshots, the man said the crowd crushed forward, pinning him against a front wall.
"Everyone was looking around to see where it was coming from," he said. "Your heart is racing."
The shooting happened before Young Jeezy - an Atlanta-native whose real name is Jay Jenkins - took the stage.
"We were just running away, trying to get safe," said another concert-goer, who travelled from Toronto to London for the show. "I saw people running away. We went outside and we couldn't leave right away. We had to answer a few (police) questions first."
Investigators are interviewing witnesses and combing through surveillance cameras - both inside the club and city cameras on the street - as they continue to search for clues, Fordyce said.
The owner of the London Music Hall declined to comment Thursday night and could not be reached for comment on Friday.
The club and London police ramped up security following the shooting at the Young Jeezy concert the night before in Toronto.
The club hired six officers on paid-duty assignments, Fordyce said, as well as a private security firm that brought in extra guards for the night and were supposed to search everyone with a metal detector before they entered.
But one witness said that never happened.
The witness, who was with two friends at the show, said although security was "intense" when they arrived about 10:30 p.m., they were only patted down, not wanded with a metal detector.
The witness said he'd been to concerts at the London Music Hall before and has never seen security as tight as it was Thursday night.
"I don't know how something like that could've really happened," he said. "It was like an airport after 9/11. It was intense."
Investigators are looking into whether the shooting Thursday night is linked to the shooting at the Young Jeezy show in Toronto.
"We have no suggestion that it is, but that's something that's being considered as part of this," Fordyce said.
After the Toronto shooting, Young Jeezy, who hadn't yet
taken the stage, tweeted: "Backstage @ Sound Academy in Toronto! Police closed venue and cancelled the greatest show!!! I will be back! Next stop London, Ontario!"
The rapper didn't tweet about the London shooting.
He was supposed to perform in Montreal Friday night at that city's first hip-hop festival, before heading back to Toronto for another show Sunday, but that gig has been cancelled.