On the morning of June 12, 1990, Chris McKinstry went looking for a gun. At 11 am, he walked into Nick's Sport Shop on a busy street in downtown Toronto and approached the saleswoman behind the counter. "I'll take a Winchester Defender," he said, referring to a 12-gauge shotgun in the display. She eyeballed the skinny 23-year-old and told him he'd need a certificate to buy it.
Two and a half hours later, McKinstry returned, claiming to have the required document. The clerk showed him the gun, and he handled the pistol grip admiringly. Then, as she returned it to its place, he grabbed another shotgun from the case, yanked a shell out of his pocket, and jammed it into the chamber.
"He's got a gun! He's got a gun!" a woman screamed, as she ran out the front door. The store emptied. He didn't try to stop anyone.