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Toronto gunman had 'severe mental health challenges', according to family

Authorities have named Fassal Hussain as the assailant behind Sunday’s deadly shooting spree.

People light candles and leave photos of 18-year-old victim Reese Fallon at a memorial remembering the victims of a shooting on Sunday evening
People light candles and leave photos of 18-year-old victim Reese Fallon at a memorial remembering the victims of a shooting on Sunday evening
Image: Mark Blinch/Associated Press

A 29-YEAR-OLD GUNMAN who shot two people dead and injured 13 others in Toronto had a history of psychosis and depression, according to his family.

Last night, authorities named Fassal Hussain as the assailant behind Canada’s latest deadly shooting spree, in which a 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman were killed.

Although the Ontario Special Investigations Unit initially declined to name the person responsible, they later reversed their decision due to the “exceptional circumstances of this tragic incident and the public interest in knowing the man’s identity”.

Investigators are still trying to discover why Hussain carried out the shootings, and revealed they were not ruling out terrorism as a possible motive.

In a statement released to CBC News, his family said they were “utterly devastated” by his actions, and suggested that mental illness may have been a factor.

“We are at a terrible loss for words but we must speak out to express our deepest condolences to the families who are now suffering on account of our son’s horrific actions,” they said.

“Our son had severe mental health challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life. The interventions of professionals were unsuccessful. Medications and therapy were unable to treat him.

“While we did our best to seek help for him throughout his life of struggle and pain, we could never imagine that this would be his devastating and destructive end.”

His family added that they were “in pieces” for the victims and would “mourn those who were lost” for the rest of their lives.

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Video footage posted by Canadian media showed Hussain, clad all in black, walking on a sidewalk and suddenly pulling out a handgun and shooting into a restaurant.

The unnamed wounded are aged between 10 and 59, and suffered injuries ranging from serious to minor, according to Police Chief Mark Saunders.

A spokeswoman for the Special Investigations Unit, Monica Hudon, would not say whether the gunman was shot dead by police, and an autopsy is expected to be carried out later today.

© AFP 2018 

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