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Two people have died since a gunman opened fire in Toronto’s Greektown Sunday night
Update (July 23, 5:45 pm): The Special Investigations Unit has identified the deceased gunman as Faisal Hussain of Toronto. His family has released the following statement:
We are at a terrible loss for words but we must speak out to express our deepest condolences to the families who are now suffering on account of our son’s horrific actions.
We are utterly devastated by the incomprehensible news that our son was responsible for the senseless violence and loss of life that took place on the Danforth.
Our son had severe mental health challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life. The interventions of professionals were unsuccessful. Medications and therapy were unable to treat him. While we did our best to seek help for him throughout his life of struggle and pain, we could never imagine that this would be his devastating and destructive end.
Our hearts are in pieces for the victims and for our city as we all come to grips with this terrible tragedy. We will mourn those who were lost for the rest of our lives.
A 10-year-old girl and 18-year-old woman have died in hospital after a lone gunman opened fire on the Danforth late Sunday night. Toronto police confirmed that another 13 shooting victims are in hospital. The suspect died at the scene.
At around 10 pm on July 22, a male armed with a handgun began firing at pedestrians on the Danforth and customers in shops and restaurants. Fifteen people between the ages of 10 and 59 were struck and rushed to nearby hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to serious.
At a news conference today, police chief Mark Saunders confirmed that two victims have succumbed to their injuries. The 18-year-old woman has been identified as Reese Fallon, a McMaster University student from from Toronto, and the 10-year-old was from the GTA. No other information has been released.
“We do not know why this has happened yet. The investigation is very new and is going to take some time. I’m not going to invite any speculation. I’m asking for your patience at this time,” Saunders said, adding. “It’s way too early to rule out anything.”
Saunders refused to disclose any details about the gunman, citing that the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has invoked a mandate to conduct an investigation because of the exchange in gunfire between Toronto police and the gunman. It’s unclear whether the gunman died by police shooting or a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The SIU has released a statement confirming that the suspect was a 29-year-old man. Officers located him on Bowden where an exchange of gunfire took place. He fled the scene and was found deceased on Danforth.
The morning after the attack, Mayor John Tory addressed city council, “Our entire city has been shocked by this cowardly act of violence. I am angry someone would carry out such an attack, which amounts to an attack on our city itself.”
The latest shooting follows a recent spike in gun violence in Toronto, including the killing of Smoke Dawg on Queen West and a separate shooting in Kensington Market. While the police aren’t commenting on motive, some are speculating whether this attack might be similar to the incel rebellion van attack that killed 10 people near Yonge and Finch in April.
“I’ve said for some time, the city has a gun problem. Guns are readily available to too many people,” Tory said. “Why does anyone in this city need to have a gun at all?”
“There is a newness in this in Toronto’s environment,” Saunders said. “Other large cities in the world go through this tremendously. We have to figure out what we can do collectively. It’s going to take time. I have the highest trained officers in the country that will do their best over time.”
He added that there will be a heightened level of uniformed presence on the Danforth in coming weeks. The busy street is currently closed for investigation.
Anyone with information including witnesses with videos related to the incident are encouraged to call the police. Victim Services Toronto is also available 24 hours a day for support, short-term crisis intervention and assessment services.
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