TORONTO — Relatives of the victims of a deadly Toronto mass shooting gathered alongside local officials on Wednesday to mark the second anniversary of the tragedy that continues to make itself felt in one of the city’s busiest neighbourhoods.
A small ceremony took place at a park near the stretch of Danforth Avenue where a gunman opened fire on July 22, 2018, causing terror and chaos among restaurant-goers and pedestrians frequenting the area colloquially known as Greektown.
Reese Fallon, 18, and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis were killed in the shooting, while 13 others were injured. Gunman Faisal Hussain died of a self-infliceed gunshot wound in the same area later that evening.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said Wednesday’s commemorative event was designed to be “modest” in size due to COVID-19 public health restrictions, but added that the city still 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.”
Condolences poured in from prominent figures across the country, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Two years ago, a terrible shooting on the Danforth cut short two lives and forever changed many more,” read a tweet from his official account. “Today, our hearts go out to the Fallon and Kozis families — and we are keeping all who were affected by this tragedy in our thoughts.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders also issued statements of condolence and solidarity with the victims and their families.
The low-key commemoration ceremony included an appearance from one of those injured during the shooting.
Danielle Kane, who was left paralyzed from the waist down after being struck by a bullet, laid flowers at the base of two memorial trees planted in honour of Fallon and Kozis.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2020.
The Canadian Press