Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Islamic State claims deadly Toronto shooting attack: statement

A boy hands a Toronto shooter’s neighbors knew nothing of mental illness
Marty Perkins | 27 July, 2018, 21:49

Toronto police Wednesday said there was no evidence showing that the shooting in Toronto Sunday night was connected to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Islamic State said through its AMAQ news agency that Hussain "was a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the attack in response to calls to target the citizens of the coalition countries".

Hussain lived with his parents in the building, and neighbors said the family was Pakistani.

Police chief Mark Saunders says investigators don't know a possible motive yet.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said that there is no risk to national security following the attack. Sources say Toronto Police, the OPP and the RCMP have all had an interest in the now-deceased shooter.

Toronto police identified the two victims as 10-year-old Julianna Kozis and 18-year-old Reese Fallon.

The family disclosed that the 29-year-old had struggled with "severe mental health challenges" for years, adding that medication, therapy and other interventions were unsuccessful. Police say they located the man nearby, on Bowden Street, and that shots were exchanged. "We stand by the victims, the courageous first responders and all the communities affected by this tragedy".

Mourners could be seen carrying signs that read #DanforthStrong and other messages of resilience, showing the world that this vicious attack on The Danforth won't define who we are as a city.

Canadian crime expert Steve Ryan told network CTV that video showing the way Hussain held his gun while calmly aiming and firing suggests he had firearms training.




Rather, the source said, Hussain remained on the periphery of gang life - well-connected enough to get his hands on an illegal handgun (the weapon he used was illegal and he had no Possession and Acquisition Licence), but either he was not in sufficiently deep that he acquired a serious record or he was lucky enough to avoid it.

Councillors approved a motion to urge the federal government to forbid the sale of handguns in the city and for the province to outlaw the sale of handgun ammunition in Toronto.

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti said the city would lower its flags to honour the girl and that the community north of Toronto had been shaken and hurt by this "senseless act of violence". It passed on a 41-4 vote.

The deadly melee in the popular Toronto neighborhood has led to increased scrutiny of the city's gun violence.

Ali Demircan says he was sitting on a bench on the northwest corner of Logan and Danforth avenues on Sunday night with three of his friends when he heard what he first thought were firecrackers, then quickly realized an active shooter was in his midst.

"It still feels surreal", Sukhera said, "like it's a dream and I'm going to wake up and it didn't even happen". Hussain was shot dead, but it's unclear whether it was from his own gun or a bullet from police.

Fallon was expected to attend a nursing program at McMaster University in the fall and one of her former teachers said she aspired to become a mental health nurse.

"I'm out of my mind just thinking about it".

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