One year later, Danforth shooting survivors continue to heal
Published Sunday, July 21, 2019 6:39PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, July 21, 2019 7:03PM EDT
One year later, survivors of the Danforth shooting continue to deal with challenges.
Danielle Kane and her partner Jerry Pinksen were celebrating a friend’s birthday on Danforth Avenue when a gunman started shooting at people in restaurants and walking along the street.
“I saw the red flash and heard the gunfire. I had just enough time to turn before he shot me in the left side of my chest.”
Kane was one of 13 people injured when gunfire erupted in Toronto's Greektown on July 22, 2018. A bullet tore through her stomach and diaphragm, shattering a part of her spine. Kane is still unable to walk.
Two people—18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Juliana Kozis—were killed in the attack.
A short ceremony was held on Sunday to honour the victims and those impacted by the shooting.
“We needed a way to commemorate the day and remember those who passed," Kane said after the ceremony. "Juliana and Reese—such beautiful souls.”
Ali Demircan didn’t know Fallon, but he was by her side when the gunman opened fire. He was grazed by a bullet that day.
“She was so young, she lost her life in front of my eyes,” said Demircan.
He met Fallon’s family for the first time Sunday at the ceremony and said it was emotional, and that they “just hugged each other and cried.”
The memories of that night are still clear to many, including Najma Ahmed, the surgeon who treated victims of the shooting.
“It was a sense of disbelief and horror that this is not a training exercise.”
Ahmed said the shooting was a wake-up call that Toronto and Canada are not immune to gun violence. She is now fighting for stricter gun control laws.
“Many communities came together to say this is enough and we must act now to do something, that’s what propelled many us of to form this advocacy group called Canadian Doctors For Protection from Guns.”
After all she’s been through, Kane remains grateful—and says she forgives the shooter.
“I wish I could have talking to him because I feel like he and I would have had more in common than he would have believed. So yes, I forgive him and I don’t really hold any ill will in my heart.”