#DanforthStrong: Multiple memorials, fundraisers created in wake of Danforth shooting
In the wake of a mass shooting that left two people dead and 13 others injured in Toronto’s Danforth neighbourhood Sunday night, members of the community are creating memorials as well as setting up fundraisers to help the victims.
The shooting happened near Logan and Danforth avenues, just after 10 p.m. when a 29-year-old man opened fire with a handgun, firing at several groups of people as he made his way down Danforth Avenue. An 18-year-old woman named Reese Fallon and a 10-year-old girl were killed.
The suspect fled the area but was found dead in a nearby alley. It remains unclear if he died by suicide or was killed by police. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), an independent agency that investigates police-involved incidents resulting in death and serious injury, identified the suspect Monday afternoon as Toronto resident Faisal Hussain.
On Monday, a chalkboard memorial was created near a beautiful garden area about five houses down from the scene near Logan and Danforth avenues. Community members began to write messages of hope and support for those affected by the incident. Flowers and posters were also left.
“Stay strong Toronto,” “Thinking of everyone on this sad day” and “We must stick together and make this city a safer place” were some of the messages left.
Jeannette Dowson, who lives in the neighbourhood, started another memorial on Bain Avenue. She began writing messages in chalk along the sidewalk going north on Logan Avenue. She said the hope is to have a message written on every segment of sidewalk up until Danforth Avenue by Monday night.
Dowson told Global News on Monday the idea came to her late Sunday night.
WATCH BELOW: Makeshift memorial grows near Danforth shooting scene
“We stared at 11 [a.m.] and I’m very pleasantly surprised with how far we’ve gotten and how much goodwill we’ve generated with this project,” she said.
“I’d love to see it go up to the Danforth and wrap around the park.”
As for the messages she’s seen so far, Dowson said they’ve mostly been about “peace and love.”
“I think people are delighted to see it so that’s always helpful and wonderful,” she said.
“We as a neighbourhood are raising funds to help these people cover the costs associated with this tragedy. Whether it be health care costs, funeral arrangements or lost wages, our DanforthStrong neighbourhood does NOT accept this type of violence, and we are here to help,” the GoFundMe page read.
Fragedakis, who has lived in the area her entire life, said during a Toronto city council meeting on Monday morning that the scene Sunday night was unlike anything she had ever seen before.
WATCH BELOW: Memorial grows at fountain near Danforth shooting scene
“It’s devastating. It’s devastating for me. It’s devastating for the people in the community,” she said.
“I talked to a lot of people who are just in shock. I can’t really make any sense of something that’s so senseless.”
Fletcher, at the same council meeting, spoke of the strength of the Danforth neighbourhood.
“I want to assure you that the Danforth is a strong area,” she said.
“The people are strong there and Danforth will remain strong, despite this terribly tragedy in our midst.”
WATCH: Danforth shooting victim thanks rescuers while being loaded into ambulance
A GoFundMe page raising money for a $5,000 annual scholarship fund in Fallon’s honour had raised over $10,000 by Tuesday morning.
The money will to a graduate of Malvern Collegiate – the high school Fallon graduated from last month – entering a nursing program.
Another GoFundMe, the Danforth Shooting Victims Fund, was also created.
—With files from Andrew Russell and The Canadian Press
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