Witnesses described the “carnage” in Toronto’s Greektown after a man opened fire Sunday night, killing at least two people and injuring 12 more on The Danforth.
As investigators search for answers as to why a 29-year-old gunman opened fire at around 10 p.m., killing at least two people, the Danforth community is left stunned following the mass shooting.
Investigators named Faisal Hussain as the shooter. A statement from the Hussain family said he suffered from mental illness, and offered their condolences to the victims.
A motive for the shooting isn’t yet known.
Andreas Mantzios was having coffee with friends when the shooting started. He says he saw several people struck by gunfire and blood everywhere.
“It was horrible. You don’t expect this on Danforth of all places,” Mantzios told Global News.
Mantzios said the gunman “executed” a woman as she was trying to flee the area, adding the gunman shot the victim multiple times as she lay on the ground.
“A lady tried to run and she fell by the tree and he went ‘Boom, boom, boom,’ three times,” Mantzios said while gesturing with his hand.
The man said he was about three and half metres away from the gunman.
“The guy … had this look on his face, while I saw his profile, like he was screaming at something and shooting,” Mantzios said.
Mantzios said the gunman moved onto the south side of the street began shooting again.
“He was shooting randomly to kill as many people as possible and my friend he saw him change the clip, he emptied the first clip and put in a second one and kept continuing shooting,” Mantzios said.
Video posted on social media shows the suspected gunman walking on a sidewalk dressed in black, wearing a black baseball cap, while carrying a black bag, before opening fire on a location on Danforth Avenue.
“He was literally zigzagging, just one guy, zigzagging on the Danforth, going from the south to the north, and wherever he saw people, he would just start shooting,” the witness said.
Police said 12 people were injured as a result of the shooting. A woman said she was sitting on a patio as the incident erupted. “right in front of my face.”
“I just saw bodies going down and I just got shoved to the ground,” the panicked witness said.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said early Monday that police arrived at the scene and quickly identified the suspect, who was armed with a handgun. An exchange of gunfire ensued, and Saunders said the shooter likely died of gunshot wounds.
A statement by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), an independent agency that investigates police-involved incidents resulting in death and serious injury, said a man was walking along Danforth when he fired shots at groups of people several times. He was on Bowden Street and an exchange of gunfire took place.
The man then fled the area and was found dead on the Danforth, the SIU said.
“I just saw carnage,” Michael Ryan said. “Like everything you see on TV, it starts hitting you that this is actually happening in front of your apartment.”
Witnesses told Global News that some people were still holed up in pubs and restaurants as of 1:50 a.m. Monday, nearly four hours after the shooting was first reported.
Sunday night’s mass shooting comes almost exactly three months after the van attack in the city’s North York area that left 10 dead.