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Sunday 19 January 2020

Gunman who killed two in rampage 'was mentally ill'

Police officers investigating a mass shooting on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. Photo: Reuters
Police officers investigating a mass shooting on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. Photo: Reuters

Rob Gillies in Toronto

A man who fired a handgun into restaurants and cafes in Toronto, killing a 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman, suffered from psychosis and depression, his family claimed last night.

Authorities identified the suspect as Faisal Hussain (29) from Toronto, who died during an exchange of gunfire with police. It was not immediately clear whether he killed himself or was killed by police.

The mass shooting in Toronto's Greektown district on Sunday night came just three months after a van struck and killed 10 people in an apparent attack directed at women.

A statement from the family of Hussain said their son had severe mental health challenges that he struggled with psychosis and depression.

They said medications did not help him and the interventions of professionals were unsuccessful.

"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," the Hussain family said.

"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."

Police Chief Mark Saunders earlier said he would not speculate on a motive but did not rule out terrorism.

"It's almost inconceivable that these things can happen," said Mayor John Tory. "We were so used to living in a city where these things didn't happen and as we saw them going on in the world around us (we) thought they couldn't happen here."

"This is an attack against innocent families and our entire city."

The 18-year-old was identified as high school graduate Reese Fallon, who volunteered for Canada's Liberal party and was due to attend university shortly.

"She was smart, passionate and full of energy. It is a huge loss," said Canadian MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who knew Ms Fallon.

Irish Independent

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