US & Canada

Toronto shooting suspect identified as Faisal Hussain, 29

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption'It just seemed very surreal'

Canadian officials have identified the suspect in Sunday's deadly shooting in Toronto as Faisal Hussain, 29.

The Ontario Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said it was releasing his name due "to the exceptional circumstances of this tragic incident".

A 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman died after a gunman opened fire on a busy avenue in Canada's largest city.

Thirteen others were injured in the rampage in Canada's largest city.

The SIU, which looks into incidents involving police which result in death, said a post-mortem examination on the suspected shooter is scheduled for Tuesday.

Image copyright Reuters

According to the SIU, the gunman was tracked by officers to Bowden Street during the shooting, which happened on Sunday evening shortly after 22:00 (02:00 GMT Monday).

"An exchange of gunfire" then took place, before the man fled once more. He was found dead about 100m (328ft) away on Danforth Avenue.

In a statement released to various media outlets, Hussain's family expressed their "deepest condolences" to the victims and their families for what they called "our son's horrific actions". ​

They said their son suffered from serious mental health challenges and had struggled with untreatable psychosis and depression most of his life.

"Our hearts are in pieces for the victims and for our city as we all come to grips with this terrible tragedy," they said.

Who are the victims?

The first victim to be identified was Reese Fallon, 18.

Image copyright Courtesy Facebook/Nathaniel Erskine-Smith
Image caption Reese Fallon

Local member of Parliament, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, confirmed that she was one of the two killed in the shooting.

Mr Erskine Smith told media that the family was "devastated" and was asking for privacy at this time.

"She was a local young Liberal, smart, passionate and full of energy," the Liberal MP told the BBC in a statement.

"It is a huge loss."

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Reese Fallon "was highly regarded by staff and loved by her friends"

Ms Fallon was a recent high school graduate and, in a statement, the Toronto District School Board said they were "heartbroken" by the news.

The school board said she "was highly regarded by staff and loved by her friends".

According to her Facebook profile, she was about to begin studying at McMaster University.

Image copyright Toronto Police
Image caption Julianna Kozis was the second victim to be named

On Tuesday, police released the identity of the 10-year-old victim: Julianna Kozis of Markham.

What happened in Toronto?

Emergency services were called out just after 22:00 (02:00 GMT Monday) to the Greektown district of Toronto, a busy avenue known for its restaurants and summertime patios.

Witnesses described hearing volleys of shots as people tried to run from the gunfire.

Police say eight women and seven men were shot, ranging in age from 10 to 59.

Det Sgt Terry Browne, who is leading the investigation into the shootings, told reporters on Monday that "some individuals have what may be described as life-changing injuries" following the attack.

Police have said it is still too early to speculate as to a motive.

Is Toronto known for gun violence?

Gun violence is much rarer in Canada than over the border in the US, but Toronto has seen attacks increase dramatically in recent years.

Shootings in the city over a holiday weekend earlier this month led to Mayor John Tory saying he was working to get more police patrolling the streets.

The city leader acknowledged on Monday that Toronto has a firearms problem.

"The gun violence in any part of our city is horrible and completely unacceptable," Mayor Tory said.

Police data also shows the number of shootings in Toronto more than doubled between 2014 and 2017 - from 177 to 395.

Mr Trudeau's ruling Liberal party wants tougher background checks, including screening people with a history of violence.

Gun control has often sparked divisive debates in Canada, which has a large rural population where guns are widely owned and used.


Related Topics