US & Canada

Toronto shooting: 'Aspiring athlete' Julianna Kozis, 10, identified as victim

Julianna Kozis Image copyright Courtesy Toronto Police Services
Image caption Julianna Kozis, of Markham, Ontario, died in the rampage

A 10-year-old "beautiful, aspiring athlete" has been identified as the second victim killed in Sunday's mass shooting in Toronto.

Julianna Kozis died after a gunman opened fire in the city's Greektown district. She was the youngest victim.

The second casualty, Reese Fallon, 18, an aspiring nurse, was out with friends when she was also shot and killed.

Alleged gunman Faisal Hussain, 29, died in a shootout with police. The attack injured 13 people, aged 17 to 59.

Father and daughter's 'unbreakable bond'

Julianna, from the Toronto suburb of Markham, was a competitive synchronised swimmer.

The Markham Synchro Club said in a statement they were "profoundly saddened" by her death.

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti said the city will lower flags in honour of her memory.

The young girl's father was reportedly among the injured in the shooting, but managed to rush to her hospital bedside on the night of the attack.

Mr Scarpitti said in a statement that "this heartbreaking story speaks to the unbreakable bond between a father and his daughter, and I salute the Toronto Paramedics, doctors and nurses who reportedly brought them together, showing incredible compassion and kindness in her final moments".

City councillor Jim Karygiannis, who is acquainted with Julianna's parents, told the BBC her "loving family" is devastated.

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

Who was the other fatality?

Reese Fallon had recently graduated from high school and was due to begin university.

She was involved in the youth wing of the federal Liberal party and was remembered as "smart, passionate and full of energy".

In a statement, the Toronto District School Board said they were "heartbroken" by the news of her death.

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

Who was the gunman?

Hussain has been described by friends and neighbours as shy and quiet, a young man seen frequently walking through his Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood.

The Toronto man worked a retail job at a local grocery and pharmacy chain.

Image copyright Courtesy Hussain family
Image caption Faisal Hussain

Aamir Sukhera, a friend of his, spoke to Canadian media on Monday night and described the suspect as someone who was "humble" and "kept to himself".

Resident Saira Ahmed told Reuters that the suspect rarely spoke with anyone when he was out in the community, which is about 4km (2.5 miles) north of where the attack took place.

His family released a statement in which they 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 psychosis and depression most of his life, neither of which responded to treatment.

What was the motive?

Toronto police say it is too early in the investigation to speculate on a motive.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Residents of the Danforth area leave flowers and light candles for the victims

City police chief Mark Saunders said on Wednesday officials have found no evidence linking the attack to terrorism.

On Monday evening, police executed a search warrant on the apartment in a modest high-rise building that the suspect shared with his parents, and were seen carrying out boxes of evidence.

Police are working with other law enforcement agencies in Canada, going through background information, the suspect's experiences with mental health, and his online activity.

In the wake of the shooting, calls are growing for handguns sales to be banned in urban areas.

Related Topics

More on this story