Saturday, December 15 2018

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Family says Toronto gunman had mental issues

Update: July, 24/2018 - 10:34

TORONTO — The 29-year-old man who opened fire on restaurant goers and pedestrians on a Toronto street overnight, killing two people and wounding 13, had "severe" mental health issues, his family said on Monday.

Police identified the gunman as Faisal Hussain of Toronto. He was found dead near the scene of the shooting after an exchange of gunfire with police.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said an 18-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl were killed in the shooting rampage and 13 people -- aged 10 to 59 -- wounded, some seriously.

The authorities have not yet determined a motive for the attack that took place in Toronto’s bustling Greektown neighborhood around 10pm on Sunday.

Hussain’s family, in a statement to CBC News, denounced his "horrific actions" and said he was suffering from mental problems.

"Our son had severe mental health challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life," the family statement said.

"The interventions of professionals were unsuccessful," it said.

"Medications and therapy were unable to treat him.

"While we did our best to seek help for him throughout his life of struggle and pain, we could never imagine that this would be his devastating and destructive end," the family said.

Video footage posted by Canadian media showed Hussain, clad all in black, walking on a sidewalk and suddenly pulling out a handgun and shooting into a restaurant.

Just hours after the shooting rampage in Toronto, police arrested a man who tried to stab a member of the ceremonial guard outside parliament in Ottawa.

The man was quickly arrested and no one was injured in the incident, the Canadian defense ministry said.

"Our entire city has been shocked by this cowardly act of violence," Toronto Mayor John Tory said.

"Gun violence in any part of our city is horrible and completely unacceptable."

"I promise all of the people of Toronto, but most importantly those directly affected by this tragedy, that we will all be relentless in getting answers about why this senseless attack happened," Tory said.

Witnesses reported hearing at least 20 shots during the rampage on Danforth Avenue, Greektown’s main drag.

"There must’ve been 20, 30 shots, altogether. It was a lot. We just ran," John Tulloch, a resident who was out for a walk at the time, told The Globe and Mail— AFP

 

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