Toronto police: No evidence for Islamic State attack claim

Toronto police: No evidence for Islamic State attack claim

Police located the 29-year-old suspect about three blocks away from the scene and exchanged fire. Investigators did not say whether Hussain was shot by police or if it was self-inflicted.

Ensaf Haider, the Canadian wife of a Saudi-held political prisoner, tweeted: "Politically correct reporters keep saying murderer Faisal Hussain suffered 'mental illness.' Which Islamic terrorist was NOT mentally ill?"

Hussain's family, in a statement to CBC News, denounced his "horrific actions" and said he was suffering from mental problems.

Police have not confirmed a motive for the shooting, but in a statement released on Monday, Hussain's family said that he struggled with "severe mental health challenges" and "psychosis".

"The interventions of professionals were unsuccessful", it said.

"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", the statement said.

According to videos and witness accounts, the assailant, clad all in black, was seen walking quickly down a sidewalk on Danforth Avenue, firing a handgun into shops and restaurants in Greektown, a district of expensive homes, eateries and cafes.

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Bill Blair, the former Toronto City Police chief who was appointed last week as minister responsible for reducing organized crime, said lawmakers should be looking at more than simply handguns as they work to get illegal weapons off the streets.

That being said, he noted that "a number of groups and organizations made presentations to that effect earlier this year, and I said that we would be prepared to consider their arguments and we will do that".

In a speech to council just hours after the shooting, Mayor John Tory said there is a growing problem of people improperly acquiring guns that were originally purchased legally. Deaths from gun violence in the city jumped 53 percent to 26 so far in 2018 from the same period a year ago, police data last week showed, with the number of shootings rising 13 percent. "I vividly remember that because I reached out to him and I said to him 'you know, that's super inappropriate and I really hope these are just lyrics and you are not meaning these things'". Handguns and other restricted firearms require passing an additional course.

The shooting rampage comes amid concern over a surge of shootings in Canada's largest metropolis.

Canada has relatively strict gun laws and traditionally low levels of gun violence, particularly compared with its neighbor the United States. Toronto has had over 200 shootings and 26 fatalities so far this year, up from 17 shooting deaths during the same period in 2017.

"I'm more concerned about the impact (guns) are having on children in my city right now than I am on people who collect them".

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