Toronto showing resilience in wake of Sunday's mass shooting

Jul 25, 2018

Toronto Mayor John Tory says the thousands of people who have returned to the streets of Greektown shows the resilience of the neighborhood.

He commented on the status of the area where a mass shooting took place Sunday evening at the start of a city council meeting. Two people were shot and killed - Reese Fallon, an 18-year-old woman about to start nursing university this fall, and Julianna Kozis, 10, of Markham, ON - while another 13 were wounded.

Toronto Police Homicide Detective Sergeant Terry Browne (left) and Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders update media on the Danforth shooting.
Credit Toronto Police / Twitter

Police are not speculating on the motive of gunman Faisal Hussain, 29, but say he was not on any federal national security watchlists. That is from Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who says the Canadian government is prepared to consider tightening handgun laws in the wake of the Toronto shooting and the January 2017 massacre at a Quebec City mosque.

Ontario's police watchdog is probing the circumstances around Hussain's death, while Toronto Police investigate the attack. Hussain died after an exchange of gunfire with police, but it remains unclear whether he took his own life or was killed by police.

Tuesday evening, the Council voted 41-4 to ask Ottawa to ban the sale of guns within city limits. Gun deaths have accounted for 29 of the city's 58 homicides this year, compared to 17 fatal shootings at this time last year.

Greektown residents will attend another vigil Wednesday night to mourn the victims of the attack.  They will be joined by Tory at 7 p.m. at a local church before they walk along Danforth Avenue bearing lanterns and candles.

A fountain in the Alexander the Great Parkett has become one of the main places for people to leave flowers, candles and messages.

"The people here are very friendly and it's a very loving community," said Marlene Julien. "What I see here is very touching."

Police officers walk the scene in the Greektown neighborhood of Toronto on Sunday night after a gunman opened fire on people in a restaurant.
Credit National PublicRadio

She said it's important that the community comes together because residents of Greek town need support and positivity.

"We really need to embrace the opportunity to make a change," said Julien. "We just need to bring back our peaceful Toronto that we had before."

On Tuesday evening, heavy rain and a thunderstorm forced pedestrians to seek shelter in restaurants and bars on the Danforth. 7 Numbers restaurant at Danforth Avenue and Bowden Street was packed with customers happily drinking and eating with occasional mention of the gunman who was found dead after an exchange of gunfire with police just steps away.

Earl D'Almeida said he felt it was important to eat at a restaurant on the Danforth to support the community and local businesses.

"We're here to show that we're not scared and that we're going to pick ourselves up and the community up."