Police in Toronto have identified the suspect in the shooting rampage on Sunday that claimed the lives of two people. Faisal Hussain, 29, of Toronto is the prime suspect in the shooting, which resulted in injuries to more than a dozen persons. Witnesses and police said that the suspect fired on groups of people who were enjoying a summer night in the Greektown neighborhood. On Monday there was a knife attack at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the national capital. So far, police have not said whether the two attacks are related.
Police in Ontario say that the gunman shot to death a 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman. Amateur video showed the gunman firing a pistol at a storefront near Danforth and Chester avenues in the Canadian metropolis. Ontario provincial police named the suspect after consulting with his family members. “Due to the exceptional circumstances of this tragic incident and the public interest in knowing the man’s identity, the SIU is identifying the man as Faisal Hussain of Toronto,” the statement read. Eight of the 15 victims shot on Sunday were girls and women, ranging in age from 10 to 59.
So far, police have not issued any theories as to the motivations for the attack. “I can’t speak to what was in the individual’s mind,” said lead investigator Det.-Sgt. Terry Browne. The suspect was apparently wounded during the affray. “He received a gunshot wound, but I’m not going to expand on that,” Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said at the news conference. The shooter was soon found dead after the shooting, but police have not said whether or not he died by his own hand. At a city council meeting on Monday, Toronto Mayor John Tory asked council members “Why does anyone in Toronto need a gun?”
Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, a minister of parliament for East York, issued a statement on the behalf of the family of 18-year-old Reese Fallon, who was felled by the shooter. “The family is devastated (and) asks that their privacy be respected at this time.” Fallon’s younger sister posted a tribute on Instagram Monday evening, writing:“I am crushed and broken and there won’t be one minute that goes by for the rest of my life that I won’t think of you.” Police encountered the shooter on Bowden St., between Logan and Broadview Aves., and an exchange of gunfire took place, the SIU said. In 2016, there were 223 firearm-related homicides in Canada for a rate of 0.61 per 100,000 population, according to Statistics Canada. In the U.S., 2016 saw 3.8 homicides by firearm per 100,000.
Canada’s gun laws are stricter than those in the U.S. but the current government is seeking to clamp down even more. Canada already requires that all gun owners to be licensed, while all pistols and most semi-automatic weapons must be registered. In Canada, handguns must be kept unloaded and locked up and cannot be carried outside the home unless the owner possesses a specific license that is given only to those who are required to have firearms on the job. Would-be gun owners are required to receive firearms safety training and undergo comprehensive background checks. Under proposed legislation, Canadian gun retailers would be required to keep records of firearms inventory and sales for at least 20 years. Also, purchases of rifles and shotguns would be required to present a valid license and submit to stronger background checks, which would include questions about an applicant's personal history.
On Monday, a man was arrested on Parliament Hill in Ottawa during the changing of the guard. According to a statement from Canada's armed forces, a "potential threat" was neutralized by soldiers, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Parliamentary Protective Services on duty. No one was injured. Ottawa police are investigating. Jesse Mooney, 24, is under arrest and charged with assault and violating probation.