The older brother of the gunman responsible for one of Toronto’s worst mass shootings was facing drug and weapons charges when he went into a coma last year, court records show.
After Faisal Hussain was identified as having carried out Sunday’s attack that killed two and wounded 13, it emerged that his brother had been unconscious in a coma at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto for months.
Fahad Hussain, 31, was arrested in Saskatoon on July 25, 2015 and charged with possession of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking, according to Saskatchewan courts. On Feb 21, 2017, the case was forwarded to federal prosecutors to be sent to Ontario.
Fahad was residing at a Thorncliffe Park address with his parents Faroq and Sutana Hussain as part of his release when he was arrested once again in February 2017 and charged with breaching his bail conditions after he was allegedly found to be in possession of shotgun shells. He was also charged with violating his curfew.
Released on Feb. 21 of that year on $10,000 bail, he was ordered to live in Pickering with his surety, a 33-year-old named Maisum Ansari.
At some point between February 2017 and September 2017, Fahad suffered a drug overdose and was sent to hospital, where he is now in a coma. On Sept. 20, 2017, Durham Regional Police executed a search warrant at Ansari’s address after firefighters noticed a suspicious substance in the basement and alerted police.
Police say they discovered 33 guns and seized 42 kilograms of what was later identified as the deadly street drug carfentanil, believed to be 100 times more potent than fentanyl.
Investigators have not said how Hussain obtained the handgun. A police source told Global News the firearm used in the Danforth shooting was stolen during a break-and-enter at a gun store in Saskatchewan in 2016.
Ansari was charged with 337 firearm-related offences and is currently out on bail. Global News reached out to his lawyer Leora Shemesh for comment but has not received a response. Investigators charged a second suspect Babar Ali, 30, in connection to the case last March.
All charges against Fahad were either stayed and he was never convicted of a crime.
Investigators are still hunting for a motive for why the 29-year-old opened fire with a handgun on the Danforth, killing 18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis, and wounding another 13 people. His family has said in a statement that he had “severe mental-health challenges,” including a lifelong struggle with depression and psychosis.
On Wednesday, the so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Toronto mass shooting, although provided no evidence linking the terrorist group to Sunday’s shooting.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said there is no evidence support these claims and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said on Tuesday that currently there is no known “nexus” between Hussain and national security.
“There is no national-security connection between this individual and any other national-security issue,” Goodale said.
WATCH: Julianna Kozis, 10, identified as second victim killed in Danforth shooting
Police have not said how Hussain obtained the handgun. A police source told Global News the gun used in the Danforth shooting was stolen during a break-and-enter of a gun store in Saskatchewan in 2016.
What is known about suspected gunman is that he had a history of mental health concerns dating back to 2010 and was apprehended twice under the mental health act, according to a police source.
Global News learned that Hussain attended high school at Marc Garneau Collegiate but transferred to nearby Victoria Park Collegiate Institute. Police were contacted by administrators at Victoria Park Collegiate in 2010 over comments he made about being the Joker from the Batman movie, and about liking death.
“He was fascinated with death and explosions. He also liked replica handguns,” the police source said.
A family spokesperson disputed the claim but confirmed to Global News that Hussain did once own a BB gun and loved Batman movies but no more than anyone else.
A TDSB teacher who taught Faisal Hussain almost a decade ago says he previously boasted about wanting to kill someone.
“Ten years ago when he was in my class and I asked him what does he want to do. He said, ‘Oh, I want to kill someone,’” the teacher, who Global News agreed to protect the identity of, told Global in a voicemail.
The reports are at odds with friends and family who described Hussain as quiet but content.
“He had a million-dollar smile. He was very upbeat and happy when I saw him,” said Aamir Sukhera, who was a close friend. “I couldn’t tell anything wrong with him,” Sukhera said. “I can’t say why he did it or not. I wish he had talked to me about something like this, but do people talk to someone before they do something like that? I don’t know.”
Hussain and two of his shooting victims, Reese Fallon, who was killed, and Samantha Price — who was injured — all happened to be employees of Loblaws. The grocery store chain confirmed that Fallon and Price were colleagues at the Victoria Park Loblaws while Hussain worked at another location. Hussain also held another part-time job at a Shoppers Drug Mart.
The 29-year-old was killed after trading bullets with Toronto police officers just south of Danforth Ave. He fled and was found dead of a gunshot wound soon after.
He died after shooting himself, sources told Global News.
*With files from Catherine McDonald