Chief Mark Saunders has vowed police will leave no stone unturned as investigators work diligently to provide answers in the wake of a mass shooting on Danforth Ave., near Logan Ave., at around 10 p.m. on July 22.
An 18-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl were killed while 13 other victims – ranging in age from 10 to 59 – are being treated in hospital. The shooter was identified as Faisal Hussain, 29, of Toronto, by the Special Investigations Unit, which investigates incidents where police are involved in a death or a serious injury.
Reese Fallon, 18, of Toronto, has died. The 10-year-old girl from the Greater Toronto Area has not been identified at this time at the request of her family.
“We do not know why this happened yet. The investigation is very fluid and very new and we’re certainly not going to invite any speculation,” Saunders said, at a news conference at police headquarters on July 23. “…We know it is easy to speculate and theorize about why someone would do something like this. But those assumptions do not bring back victims and they do not help us reach conclusions any faster. We would ask for your patience and support.”
Investigators have executed a search warrant at an apartment in the Thorncliffe Park Drive area as part of the investigation.
Saunders is appealing to witnesses to come forward.
“You can help us by calling police with any information, no matter how small,” he said. “We have opened a portal on our website tps.on.ca/danforthshooting – that allows you to send us photos or videos.
Anyone with information is asked to call Homicide investigators at 416-808-7400 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers Toronto at 1-800-222-8477 or 222tips.com
“A lot of people think we’ll have too much information because it was in such a busy area – they’ll go ‘Well, someone else is going to call,’” Chief Saunders said. “I know that people may have just a snippet but that snippet adds to the seamless picture that we’re trying to draw here.”
Homicide Detective Sergeant Terry Browne, the lead investigator, also spoke to media.
“All of us, as members of this community, are shocked and alarmed that this has occurred,” he said. “That being said, we have control of the city. This is an incident that has occurred with many moving parts and victims, but we will get through this. What we need, right now, is the assistance of anyone that lives in the area that may have any video that we don’t have so far to upload it. If you heard or saw anything in relation to this incident, don’t assume that we already have that information.”
The suspect in the shooting is also dead and the Special Investigations Unit will decide whether to release his identity.
“We have an appreciation of that oversight and we welcome it,” said Saunders.
On behalf of Toronto Police, the Chief offered condolences to the family and friends of those who have been affected by the incident. He also thanked the officers and other emergency services who responded quickly and professionally.
Saunders said Toronto Police will have a heightened presence in the Danforth Ave. area as the investigation continues.
He praised the work of frontline officers, who responded to the immediate threat, as well as the paramedics who treated people on scene and the medical staff at trauma centres, who can be credited with saving lives because of their responses.
For anyone who needs assistance during this time, they can contact Victim Services Toronto whose 24-hour crisis line is (416) 808-7066.
“We provide short-term crisis intervention and assessment services as well as referrals,” said VST executive director Bonnie Levine.
She encouraged anyone affected by this shooting to reach out to Victim Services, even if they haven’t reached out to police.
“We know that these events have far-reaching effects.”