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Pray for victims of shooting spree, Toronto Archbishop says

24 July 2018

Appears in: Archdiocesan News

Cardinal Thomas Collins has urged people to pray with him for the victims of a shooting spree that claimed three lives, including a 10-year-old girl, around 10 p.m. July 22 on Toronto’s Danforth Avenue.

An 18-year-old woman, Reese Fallon, was also killed in the rampage that left 13 others injured, according to police. Fallon, a resident in the Toronto Beaches area, recently graduated from high school and had been planning to attend McMaster University this fall to study nursing.

Cardinal Thomas Collins

The 29-year-old gunman from Toronto, Faisal Hussain, is also dead, though it’s not clear if he was shot by police or died of a self-inflicted wound. His family said he suffered from severe mental health challenges.

“Please join me in praying for all those injured and killed in the wake of the Sunday evening Danforth shooting,” Collins, a former archbishop of Edmonton, said in a statement.

“I will be asking all Archdiocese of Toronto churches to offer a special prayer intention for victims of violence in our community. Let us unite in our comfort and care for those who are hurting today.”

A vigil was held at Calvary Church on July 23, just blocks from the shooting scene. Another interfaith vigil is planned for July 25 at 7 p.m., organized by the Danforth Church and Eastminister United Church. The candlelight service will begin at Danforth Church, followed by a procession to the site of the shooting.

Toronto hospitals have treated 13 shooting victims, who range in age from 10 to 59 years old. Eight of the victims are female. The injuries ranged from minor to critical, according to authorities.

Emergency services including police, fire and ambulance responded beginning at 10:04 p.m. to reports of a man dressed in black with a messenger bag slung over his shoulder walking down the street shooting into restaurants with a handgun.

According to the Special Investigations Unit, police exchanged gunfire with the gunman. He fled but was later found dead.

Before Sunday night’s Greektown rampage, 27 people in Toronto had been killed and 82 injured in gun violence in 2018. A joint effort launched in June by municipal, federal and provincial governments has earmarked $15 million to curb gun violence, including programs to keep young men from joining gangs.