Was a shootout at a west-end party early yesterday retribution for recent killings?

That’s the question police and residents are asking after three intruders shot up a birthday party, sending six people to hospital.

Three victims — one shot in the face, another in the neck — were in critical condition. It was not clear whether all would survive.

One woman said she heard what she thought was a car backfire, then about 25 shots in rapid succession, as if they’d come from an automatic weapon. She ran out of her townhouse to see a wounded teen trying to climb her fence before slumping to her porch and lawn.

“I had to step over him to get out,” said Sandy, a 45-year-old mother of three whose unit is attached to the townhouse where the party was. “He was bleeding from his side.”

Neighbours said at least one partygoer was targeted in retaliation for at least one of three recent murders in Toronto. Detectives said they would probe any connection between the separate cases.

Jarvis St. Remy died in a hail of gunfire at a Dundas Street West bus stop the night of May 1. Daniel Lewis, 19, was shot in a laneway near Keele Street and Rogers Road. April 21; a day later, 29-year-old Omar Waite was gunned down near Jane Street and Eglinton Avenue West.

“There’s going be a drug war — there’s going to be a big war before it’s over,” Sandy said, covering her face, still wearing a coat over her nightgown as she waited for police to let her back into her home.

As many as two dozen people were partying at about 3 a.m. in the three-level townhouse on West Mall, just south of Rathburn Road when three men dressed in black barged in and at least one raked the living room with gunfire.

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