Toronto shooting: 2 dead after ‘emotionally disturbed’ man goes on shooting spree

By @chelean on
Toronto Canada shooting
A police officer stands near evidence markers while investigating a mass shooting on Danforth Avenue in Toronto, Canada, July 23, 2018. Reuters/Chris Helgren

A 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman were killed while several others were injured by a gunman in Canada on Sunday, around 10 p.m. local time. A man went on a shooting rampage on Danforth Avenue in Greektown, Toronto, killing two victims and injuring 14 others before he exchanged gunfire with police.

According to a witness, a man dressed in black clothes and black hat and carrying a satchel walked quickly on the street, firing three shots from the sidewalk into at least one restaurant. Police said the man moved down on Danforth Avenue, starting near Logan Avenue as he sprayed bullets along the way.

Toronto Canada shooting Police are seen near the scene of a mass shooting in Toronto, Canada, July 22, 2018.  Reuters/Chris Helgren Toronto Canada shooting People leave an area taped off by the police near the scene of a mass shooting in Toronto, Canada, July 22, 2018.  Reuters/Chris Helgren

Eyewitness Andrew Mantzios said the man fired several shots at a cluster of people waiting to cross Danforth on the sidewalk. “He has this look in his face full of hate — he was trying to kill people — like a dog barring his teeth,” Mantzios told Edmonton Journal.

He also saw the man shot a woman and then came back for her to make sure she was dead. “He went back and finished her off,” he said. “The woman who died on the scene, she was shot in front of my eyes.”

Toronto Canada shooting A police officer walks past evidence marked with coffee cups after a mass shooting in Toronto, Canada, July 23, 2018.  Reuters/Chris Helgren Toronto Canada shooting A paramedic bus leaves the area cordoned off by the police near the scene of a mass shooting in Toronto, Canada, July 23, 2018.  Reuters/Chris Helgren Toronto Canada shooting A bomb disposal robot is seen deployed within the police cordon near the scene of a mass shooting in Toronto, Canada, July 23, 2018.  Reuters/Chris Helgren

Mentally challenged gunman

The gunman continued his shooting spree as he walked back to the corner, crossing the south side of Danforth and the crossing the street again to fire into a restaurant. All the while he was shooting at people.

The alleged gunman has been identified as 29-year-old Faisal Hussain, who is also dead. It is unclear if he died as a result of his injuries from being shot by police or if his fatal wound was self-inflicted.

His family has released a statement to the media, saying their son had “severe mental health challenges.”

“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,” their statement reads. “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.”

Toronto Canada shooting Police officers enter a coffee shop damaged by gunfire while investigating a mass shooting on Danforth Avenue in Toronto, Canada, July 23, 2018.  Reuters/Chris Helgren Toronto Canada shooting A police officer looks for evidence under a car while investigating a mass shooting on Danforth Avenue in Toronto, Canada, July 23, 2018.  Reuters/Chris Helgren Toronto Canada shooting Police officers walk past Alexander the Great Parkette while investigating a mass shooting on Danforth Avenue in Toronto, Canada, July 23, 2018.  Reuters/Chris Helgren

The victims

One of the two killed was named as 18-year-old Reese Fallon, a recent high school graduate. It is still unknown where she was when she got shot. She graduated from Malvern Collegiate Institute and had planned to study nursing at McMaster University in Hamilton, Edmonton Journal reports.

The 10-year-old victim who was killed has not yet been identified as of the time of writing. There are 14 more people who were injured but appeared to be in stable condition.

Officials’ response

Police Chief Mark Saunders said he wouldn’t rule out terrorism as a motive. The shooting also apparently did not look random.

Toronto Mayor John Tory has expressed outrage about the attack, calling it a “despicable act.” He also called for tougher gun laws.

“There are far too many people carrying around guns in our city and our region who should not have them,” he said Monday morning. “You’ve heard me ask the question of why anyone would need to buy 10 or 20 guns, which they can lawfully do under the present laws.

“And that leads to another question we need to discuss: Why does anyone in this city need to have gun at all?”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, wished for the victims to make full recovery.