Tributes to Toronto shooting victims spring up across the city
Tributes of all kinds have begun throughout Toronto to honour the victims of Sunday night’s horrific shooting in the city’s east end.
On Sunday, a gunman opened fire along Danforth Avenue in Toronto’s Greek neighbourhood, killing two people and injuring another 13.
Reese Fallon, 18, has been identified as one of the victims. The family of the other victim, a 10-year-old girl, has asked for privacy.
The suspected shooter, identified as 29-year-old Faisal Hussain, is also dead. His family said in a statement that Hussain had battled mental health issues his entire life.
To show their support to the victims and their families, numerous tributes have sprung up across the city.
For a most of the day on Monday, a major section of the Danforth was blocked off due to the ongoing police investigation, but it didn’t stop residents of the area from showing their support by placing flowers in a nearby parkette and drawing messages of support in chalk on a sidewalk near Withrow Park.
The hundreds of chalk messages spanned several of metres along the southwest portion of the park. The messages included “Danforth Strong” and “Be strong, be love.”
Once the street reopened, people began writing messages of support and laying flowers outside the businesses that have been boarded up due to the shooting. Hundreds of people visited the area on Monday night.
Several community members also gathered for a vigil at a church just a few steps from where the shootings took place.
"It was a church hall filled with love and many prayers were said for everybody," Mayor John Tory, who attended the service, told The Canadian Press.
Among the others at the vigil Monday night were Jessica Harrison, who went to school with Fallon. She said she was devastated when she heard the news about what had happened to her classmate.
"I think everybody is pretty shocked," she said.
In downtown Toronto, the CN Tower was lit up in blue and white, the colours of the Greek flag. The Blue Jays also held a moment of silence before their game on Monday night.
More ceremonies and tributes to honour the victims are expected to continue throughout the week.
A community run through along the Danforth has been scheduled for Tuesday night at 10 p.m. Runners will travel from a McDonald’s near Coxwell Avenue -- where a 2015 shooting killed two men -- to a convenience store on the western edge of this most recent incident. The run measures about three kilometres.
The Eastminster United Church is hosting a second vigil on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m at the Danforth Church. Organizers are encouraging people to bring candles and lanterns to the ceremony.
“People are feeling anger and feeling a sense of violation of their community,” Rev. Sarah Miller with the Eastminster United Church, told CTV News Channel.
“(The vigil is) an opportunity for people to come together… and I think being in a community helps us to dissipate our fear.”
The Eastminster United Church shares a space with the Danforth Jewish Circle. Leaders from both faith groups have been opening their doors to anyone who might need to talk about what happened.
Miller said because the two victims are so young, that it’s important to make sure children are included in the healing process.
“I think it’s really important to point out to children the places where people are doing good in response to this and the opportunities they have to be part of that response,” she said. “Whether it’s like one of the young girls in our congregation handing out flowers… or coming to vigil, (or) writing chalk messages on the sidewalk. I think children can be part of the healing in that way.”
With files from The Canadian Press
The CN Tower is lit blue and white for Greektown tonight. Too many nights this year we’ve seen this landmark change colour to mark a tragedy in our city. Thoughts are with everyone impacted. #TorontoStrong pic.twitter.com/lCbgPLk9dZ— Casey Angland (@CaseyAngland) July 24, 2018