Three dead, 13 injured in Toronto Greektown mass shooting
Three people are dead and 13 are injured after a shooter opened fire on pedestrians and diners in Toronto’s Greektown area last night.
Chief Mark Saunders said this afternoon among the dead is Julianna Kozis, a 10-year-old girl from Markham.
Family and friends announced Reese Fallon, 18, of Toronto, was the other person killed during the 10 p.m. Sunday rampage on Danforth Avenue. She was to begin studying nursing at McMaster University.
Saunders said a total of 16 people were struck with bullets in the Sunday night rampage by an apparent lone gunman on Danforth Avenue.
Homicide Det.-Sgt. Terry Browne, the lead investigator, described the injuries among the wounded range from minor to life-altering.
The shooter, among the three dead, walked down Danforth firing a handgun. He was found dead after exchanging fire with the police.
It is unclear if the 29-year-old gunman died by suicide or the gunfire exchange, but the Special Investigations Unit, the provincial police watchdog is in command of that part of the investigation, Saunders said.
Among the gunman’s victims was the girl who was rushed to the Hospital for Sick Children, where she is reported to be in critical condition. The other victims were described as being between 17 years old and 59 years old, with injuries ranging from minor to serious, Saunders said.
He appealed to the public for information and knowledge after the shooting.
“We’re looking for anyone that saw anything, and this is critical because what happens is a lot of times, people tend to vet out their information when in fact it can be extremely important to our investigation,” Saunders said.
He said if anybody saw anything at any time at Danforth and Logan Avenue, going west towards Broadview Street, then they should either contact the police at 416-808-2222 or call Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.
It is early the investigation and Saunders said the police does not have a significant amount of information behind the motive.
“Absolutely everything is open (as a motive) right now,” he said. However, police raided the shooter’s home on Thorncliffe Park Drive in East York.
“If you have any dash cams, and you were in the area — if you’re on Danforth — please give us a call so we can extract that evidence. It’s very crucial for us to put all of these pieces together to figure out exactly what happened,” Saunders said.
Saunders asked for patience as homicide investigators piece together the reasons why it happened.
Jonathan Bullen, the pastry chef at Pizzeria Libretto located within the crime scene area, was unable to get into work today. He said he wondered about what’s happening with Toronto and the recent shootings.
“Toronto used to be safe when I was growing up and now it’s just getting worse and worse,” Bullen said.
“There should be community events and there should be money put into certain areas to start figuring out how to get rid of what’s happening,” he said. “To stop it before it happens.”
The shooting also affected Akiya Iggy Igeta, who moved to Toronto from Japan two weeks ago for better opportunities and to pursue his dream as a photographer.
“I didn’t expect this. I heard Toronto is safe compared to the States, so I’m really surprised,” Igeta said.
He said he was at a shelter last night and was safe from the shooting due to curfew, however his family back in Japan might be worried about him.
Chris Vraxo Vernezos, who celebrated his birthday in Greektown the night before, said the shooting hit too close to home for him.
“I feel that our neighbourhood is suffering from the same disease that the whole city is suffering from. The gun violence epidemic is spreading like a cancer through the city,” he said.
“It breaks my heart to see people treat this city with such disrespect,” Vernezos said. “I hope everyone affected by the senseless violence recovers so that we can all move forward together.”