TORONTO — Family members of the victims and survivors of the Danforth shooting commemorated the tragedy’s two year anniversary alongside Mayor John Tory and other city officials this morning.
The small ceremony was held in Withrow Park, where two trees have been planted in memory of 18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis, both of whom were killed by a gunman in the city’s Greektown neighbourhood on the evening of July 22, 2018.
Tory said the event was designed to be “modest” in size due to COVID-19 public health restrictions, but added that it still sends a strong message that the city stands in solidarity with those affected by the tragedy.
“I have had the chance over the last week or so to talk to most of the families of the people we’ve lost and the people who were injured, and these are good people, these are good families, and they’re still hurting,” Tory said.
“A lot of the healing has occurred, but we all know that when things heal, there are still scars that are left.”
The shooting, which took place while the popular neighbourhood was packed with restaurant-goers and pedestrians, also left 13 people injured, who Tory acknowledged during his remarks.
One of the victims, Danielle Kane, was present at the ceremony and laid flowers at the base of the two memorial trees alongside the mayor and family members of the victims.
Kane was left paralysed from the waist down after a bullet fired by the gunman, Faisal Hussain, hit her in the spine on the night of the shooting.
Hussain took his own life later that evening.
Toronto police chief Mark Saunders released a statement on the anniversary.
“While two years have passed, I am certain the memories are still vivid not just for those who were most impacted but also for the many first responders who rushed to the scene that day,” Saunders said.
“I am also proud of how this city responded and came together in the days and weeks after to show strength and support. May we continue to gather that strength and support as we take this moment to reflect on July 22, 2018.”
— With files from Gabby Rodrigues