Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

No evidence to back IS claim for deadly Toronto attack

Djahth9xgaimtad Toronto shooter’s neighbors knew nothing of mental illness
Johnnie Parks | 27 July, 2018, 21:39

The Canadian Psychiatric Association says it's concerned that Sunday night's violence in Toronto's Greektown may deepen stigma against people contending with mental illness after the gunman's parents said their son struggled with psychosis and depression for most of his life.

The suspected gunman in Sunday's Toronto mass shooting had been taken into police custody twice due to concerns about his mental health, Canada's Global News reported Tuesday.

The group's Amaq news agency said the gunman, identified by police as 29-year-old Faisal Hussain, was an IS "soldier" responding to its calls for attacks on nationals from countries fighting the group in Iraq and Syria.

In the meantime, police are also trying to figure out how Hussain managed to get his hands on the handgun he used to kill 18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis, as well as injure 13 others.

"The interventions of professionals were unsuccessful", it said.

Hussain's family said he had suffered since infancy from serious mental problems, which treatment and medication were unable to overcome. "While we did our best to seek help for him throughout his life of struggle and pain, we could never imagine that this would be his devastating and destructive end", they said.

Just hours after the shooting in Toronto, police arrested a man who tried to stab a member of the ceremonial guard outside Parliament in Ottawa. The Defense Ministry said no one was injured and gave no further details.

There has been no explanation for the knife attack, and the police are still seeking a motive for Hussain's rampage.

Toronto Mayor John Tory, Police Chief Mark Saunders, Community Safety Minister Michael Tibollo and Mulroney met late this afternoon at Queen's Park.

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At present, the police were not clear about the reason for the shooting meanwhile everything is open with the reports gathered and it is too early to conclude to anything. While some friends said he was "not at all radical", others said he was more interested in Islamic discussions "when there were more people around".

Andrew Mantzios told The Globe and Mail newspaper that he was having coffee with friends when shots rang out around 10:00 p.m.

Witness Andrew Mantzios told The Globe and Mail newspaper he saw a man with a "horrible expression on his face" shooting at a crowd of people.

The girl from Markham, Ont., was killed when gunfire erupted Sunday in the Toronto's Greektown, police said, adding that her family has requested privacy during "their time of grief".

While Hussain was reported not an immediate threat at the time, the teacher remembers the exchange leaving him concerned for years.

"This is my community, and I just wanted to be around people", said Angel Riccio. "I am still in shock".

Toronto, despite a murder rate lower than that of large USA cities, is grappling with a sharp rise in gun violence as gun deaths jumped to 26, up 53 per cent so far this year from the same period in 2017.

The madman who opened fire on a busy Toronto street used a semi-automatic handgun that he obtained in the USA from a "gang-related source", according to a report.

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