Toronto shooter identified as Pak-origin man struggling with mental illness | world news | Hindustan Times
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Toronto shooter identified as Pak-origin man struggling with mental illness

Family of the gunman— originally from Pakistan — has issued a statement in which they said their son “had severe mental health challenges, (was) struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life”.

world Updated: Jul 24, 2018 17:24 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Hindustan Times, Toronto
Toronto shooting,Greektown,Toronto
Friends of 18-year-old shooting victim Reese Fallon leave candles on pictures of Fallon at a makeshift memorial in remembrance of the victims of the shooting on Sunday evening, on Danforth Avenue in Toronto on July 23.(AP Photo)

The gunman who went on a shooting spree in Toronto on Sunday, killing two and injuring another 13, has been identified as Faisal Hussain, 29, a resident of the city’s Thorncliffe Park Drive locality.

Hussain, who had been employed in a grocery store, later exchanged fire with Toronto police officers on the scene and his body was later found in the vicinity of the mayhem. Police have yet to clarify whether he was killed due to injuries sustained during the firefight or if he committed suicide.

No motive has been attributed by investigators for the deadly rampage, and his family — originally from Pakistan — has issued a statement in which they said their son “had severe mental health challenges, (was) struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life”.

Hussain opened fire in the bustling Danforth neighbourhood of Toronto, claiming the lives of a 10-year-old and an 18-year-old. The older victim has been identified as Toronto resident Reese Fallon, who was to begin studies at McMaster University in the city of Hamilton this September. The name of the young girl, who was from the Greater Toronto area, has not been released per the wishes of her family.

The shooting, which horrified those that crowded the busy strip of stores and restaurants on a weekend night, occurred at around 10 pm. The gunman appears on a video posted online, dressed in dark clothes and carrying a bag slung over a shoulder.

Police and emergency crews swarmed into the locality, known as Greektown, and a special investigation unit took charge of the case. Toronto Police chief Mark Saunders told the media that they were examining every “single possible motive for this“.

Swathes of the area remained barricaded till Monday evening as investigators, including forensic experts, combed through the scene of the rampage. Toronto’s mayor John Tory met Ontario premier Doug Ford and federal minister Bill Blair at City Hall, the seat of the city’s government, on Monday. Following that meeting, he said: “I know we are all committed to stopping gun violence and sending a clear message that it will not be tolerated in our city.”

As shooting-related deaths have escalated in Canada’s largest city this year, he had earlier said that “guns are too readily available to too many people”.

Reacting to the “terrible tragedy” in the early hours of Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave - and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.” A vigil for the victims was held in Toronto on Monday evening as Torontonians gathered to mark yet another violent episode in the recent history of Canada’s largest city.

First Published: Jul 24, 2018 17:22 IST