A police source told Global News that 29-year-old Faisal Hussain had previously been apprehended by Toronto police twice under the mental health act.
A statement released Tuesday on behalf of the Hussain family said, “Our son had severe mental health challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life. The interventions of professionals were unsuccessful.”
Global News also learned that Hussain, who lived with his parents in a seventh floor apartment on Thorncliffe Park Drive, thought he was the Joker from the Batman movies.
“He was fascinated with death and explosions. He also liked replica handguns,” the police source said.
A family spokesperson disputed this but confirmed to Global News that Hussain did once own a BB gun and loved Batman movies but no more than anyone else.
Global News learned that Hussain also attended high school at Marc Garneau Collegiate not far from his Thorncliffe Park home but for some reason left the school and transferred to Victoria Park Collegiate Institute seven kilometres away.
Hussain was found dead on Danforth Avenue late Sunday night after police alleged he opened fire on several groups of people in the city’s popular Greektown neighbourhood. Eight females and seven males were struck by bullets, including 18-year-old Reese Fallon and a 10-year-old girl who has yet to be identified, who both died of their injuries.
Ontario’s police watchdog, which is investigating the interaction between Hussain and officers, hasn’t disclosed whether he was shot by police or if it was self-inflicted. An autopsy is scheduled on Tuesday.