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Toronto shooter identified; family says he had mental health issues

By Levon Sevunts

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Investigators looking into a deadly weekend shooting in Toronto have identified the assailant as Faisal Hussain but said Monday they still do not know the motive behind the attack.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit said its officials had spoken with the 29-year-old Toronto man’s immediate family and a family representative before releasing his identity.

Hussain died after the attack in which a 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman were killed. Police said they were not sure whether he died exchanging shots with police or of a self-inflicted wound.

An autopsy is scheduled to be conducted Tuesday, the SIU, an independent police watchdog created to look into cases of police use of deadly force, said in a statement.

Hussain’s family said he had severe mental health issues, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The attack occurred Sunday on a street lined with restaurants and cafes in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood. In addition to the two people killed 13 were injured.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters in a briefing Monday afternoon that police have not ruled any possible motive. Police are waiting for an authorization from a judge to conduct a search of the suspect’s residence, he said.

Saunders said police received a call shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday about a shooting and officers caught up with the suspected gunman on a nearby street.

A spokesperson for the SIU said the gunman and two police officers exchanged fire and the man ran back to the street he had come from, where he was subsequently found dead on a sidewalk.

“It was a very rapid and fluid event that unfolded very quickly,” Detective Sgt. Terry Browne, the lead investigator on the case, told reporters Monday afternoon.

Witness Andrew Van Eek told broadcaster CBC News that he looked out his window after hearing gunfire.

“There was a lot of commotion in the street,” he said. “I saw somebody come just down the sidewalk and shoot into Demetres restaurant.”

Jeremy Cohn, a video journalist for Global News, posted footage from the scene and said the victims were “spread across several blocks in the area.”

Witnesses told him the gunman was “walking and shooting” along an avenue lined with restaurants.

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