‘We want to keep Toronto lovely’: 6-year-old boy attends memorial for Danforth shooting
In the wake of a tragedy, members of Toronto’s Greektown community on Danforth Avenue has come together to offer support and to show strength – and children are right there with them.
Patrons and customers returned to shops and restaurants two days after a gunman opened fire in the street, killing two people and injuring 13 others Sunday night.
The gunman exchanged fire with police, and was later found dead. The cause of death isn’t yet known.
But community members and neighbours returned to the scene to place flowers at a makeshift memorial at the fountain in Alexander the Great Parkette.
One family brought their young children too.
“We’re Muslims, and we’re immigrants of this country, and we came to show our support to Toronto,” Ahmad Rakha told Global News.
“It breaks my heart to see that people lost their lives in a senseless act of violence.”
His son, six-year-old Nader, said he was sad for the people who died, but was happy to see all the flowers.
“I think, I think it’s great because all people are putting flowers for the people who died,” Nader said.
“I’m very sad for the people who died because bad guy, bad guys are not good and we want to keep Toronto lovely.”
The family, who moved to Canada from Lebanon three years ago, said they came out because people shouldn’t be afraid of one act of violence.
WATCH: Coverage of the Toronto Danforth shooting on Globalnews.ca
Mike Donohue also brought his grandchildren, Rory and Keegan, to the Danforth for a stroll.
“I have no real explanation, but this is where I’ve hung out since I came to Canada,” he told Global News.
The children said they were sad because of the events, and that their parents explained what happened.
WATCH: Stories of heroism emerge in the aftermath of Danforth tragedy
Experts have said that how much children should know depends on their age; safety and security should be emphasized for younger children while a pre-teens can handle a more proactive conversation about events like this, University of Victoria (UVic) psychology professor Cathy Costigan told Global News previously.
Bullet holes could still be seen in restaurant windows – including the Pappas Grill, which reopened on Tuesday.
“On Monday we didn’t reopen to mourn the lives lost,” Manager John Kilanis said. “But today we have to move on.”
WATCH: Night run held in support of Danforth following mass shooting
*With files from Global News reporters Kamil Karamali and Mike Drolet
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