10-year-old girl, woman die in downtown Toronto shooting | News | DW | 23.07.2018
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10-year-old girl, woman die in downtown Toronto shooting

Authorities in Toronto have said a gunman opened fire in the city's Greektown neighborhood, wounding 13 people and killing two. The suspect was also killed, although his motives are still unconfirmed by police.

A man fired a handgun into restaurants and cafes in a busy Toronto neighborhood, killing two and wounding 13 others on Sunday.

On Monday, authorities identified the suspect as 29-year-old Faisal Hussain, who died in an exchange of gunfire with police. The investigators are yet to determine a motive behind the shooting spree but the family of the suspect said he struggled with severe mental illness. The shooting comes amid a rise in gun violence in Canada's largest metropolis this year.

What we know so far: 

  • Two people, a 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman, have died and and 13 others were wounded in the shooting.
  • A "young girl" is among those wounded and is currently in critical condition, police said.
  • The suspect used a handgun to carry out the attack, which took place around 10:00 p.m. Sunday (0200 UTC Monday) in the Greektown neighborhood.
  • Witnesses told local media they heard around 20 shots fired as well as the sound of a weapon being reloaded.
People leave an area taped off by the police near the scene of a mass shooting in Toronto, Canada (Reuters/C. Helgren)

Emergency crews worked to evacuate people from the area near the shooting

'Horrific act of gun violence'

The suspect's family issued a statement on Monday, saying their son struggled with psychosis and depression. They said medications did not help him and the interventions of professionals were unsuccessful.

"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. "Our hearts are in pieces for the victims and for our city as we all come to grips with this terrible tragedy. We will mourn those who were lost for the rest of our lives."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to the victims and their families in a post on Twitter, adding: "The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave — and we will be there to support you through this difficult time."

Ontario Premier Doug Ford tweeted a message of solidarity with the victims following the shooting, writing: "My heart goes out to the victims and loved ones of the horrific act of gun violence in Toronto."

Toronto Mayor John Tory said the shooting on Sunday shows that there is "evidence of a gun problem" in the city.

"Guns are too readily available to too many people," Tory told reporters a few hours after the shooting took place.

Rise in Toronto shootings: Toronto has been on high alert due to a recent spate of shootings. The city deployed hundreds of additional police officers on Friday to try to tackle the violence, which city officials have blamed on gangs. So far this year, Toronto has seen over 200 shootings, almost two dozen of which have been deadly.

The city was also shaken by an attack in April that killed ten people. Officials said the suspect in the attack purposefully targeted women and was part of an online group of men who rage about being turned down by women.

ap, rs, es/se (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)