One year later, questions surrounding Danforth attack remain unanswered
Published Monday, July 22, 2019 3:20PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 22, 2019 7:50PM EDT
Despite an exhaustive investigation, there are still many unanswered questions regarding the Danforth attack on the first anniversary with the main one being, why?
“In a case like this, the one person who knows the motive is dead,” CP24 crime specialist and former homicide detective with the Toronto Police Service Steve Ryan said on Monday. “So you may never get that.”
On July 22, 2018, the gunman fatally shot himself after embarking on a shooting rampage that killed 18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis and left 13 others injured.
Last month, Toronto police released a 23-page report outlining the investigation into the shooting. While the report paints a picture of 29-year-old Faisal Hussain's mental health struggles and proclivity to violence, it neglects to provide a motive for the attack.
"Investigators did everything they could and sometimes these cases do not have the conclusion that everybody wanted, that definitive," Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said on Monday.
"Even when you do, it still does not make people feel happy. There's loss of life, we lost Julianna, we lost Reese. A lot of members of the city of Toronto are still hurt by this."
Along the Danforth, many community members say they're not concerned a motive might never been known.
"In any large city there are going to be disturbed people," Noel Thompson, who lives in the area, said.
Thompson believes the focus should shift to making gun law changes.
Following the deadly attack, those calls to strengthen Canada's gun laws have increased, with family members of victims advocating for a handgun ban. But, gun advocates say it's already difficult to purchase a gun in Canada
"It's very difficult to get guns legally in Canada, it's long and expensive," Nicolas Johnson, who runs a website called thegunblog.ca, said. "It's basically impossible to stop someone who is committed to disobeying the law.”
But, Ryan argues the semi-automatic nature of the handgun used in this case made it easy for Hussain to fire rounds quickly, increasing the number of casualties.
"It's hard to stop somebody before they get off 14 or 15 rounds of a semi-automatic pistol," Ryan said.
Ryan also points to the fact that the handgun used by Hussain in this shooting was stolen from a legal gun store.
"That's what makes firearms so dangerous," he said. "Both legal firearms and illegalfire arms. If they get into the wrong hands, this can happen."
While Saunders says certain questions about this case may remain a mystery, he did say on Monday that if at any point in the future new information about this attack is revealed, that police will continue to investigate all leads.