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Chief Mark Saunders Releases Findings of Danforth Shootings Investigation



Broadcast time: 13:05
Friday, June 21, 2019

Corporate Communications
416-808-7100


Today, Chief Mark Saunders released the findings of the investigation in to the July 22, 2018, mass shooting on Danforth Avenue in which two young girls lost their lives and many more lives were forever changed.

The investigation in to the deceased Faisal Hussain’s life included, but was not limited to a review of his mental health touch points, education, personal life and financial background.

“Our investigative findings may help to provide some closure for the victims and their families by answering some questions. Sadly, it does not provide all the answers as to why this occurred,” said Chief Saunders. “We took the unprecedented step of releasing our findings out of compassion for these families, and in recognition of the impact of this tragic and violent attack on our citizens and community.”

The Toronto Police Service consulted the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario regarding the release of the scope of the investigative findings.

Investigators gathered information about every aspect of Hussain’s life. The evidence concluded that Hussain had an extensive history of mental health issues, first documented in 1998. Details from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) chronicle a troubled individual who was clinically treated for violence against himself and an outward expression of violent thoughts.

Hussain did not have a criminal record. As an adult he first came into contact with the Toronto Police Service in 2010 when officers transported him to hospital under the Mental Health Act for evaluation following an incident involving self-harm at school.

The Toronto Police Service investigation found there was no evidence that Hussain was affiliated with radical ideologies, hate groups or terrorist organizations. He also never applied for nor was granted a firearms license.

Mental Health History

According to the records accessed, Faisal Hussain’s mental health issues were first reported by the TDSB in October 1998. A psychiatric evaluation completed at the request of the TDSB placed him in the upper end of the intellectual deficiency range.

Over his academic years, Hussain’s behaviour caused teachers and school staff to raise concerns about his mental health and the safety of students and staff. Referrals were made to the TDSB social work department six times between 2001 and 2010. A risk assessment completed in this time frame concluded that Hussain was a medium to high risk for violence.

Outside the education setting, Hussain was treated on several occasions for mental health issues. In June 2010, he was diagnosed as having antisocial personality disorder.

In July 2010, Hussain was referred to a health team that was better equipped to address his reported mental health struggles. Hussain began seeing a mental health professional; however, his treatment adherence over the next four years was inconsistent.

His last documented appointment with a mental health professional was in May 2014. In November of the same year, he refused further medical treatment. A mental health professional had suggested that Hussain’s family doctor refer him to a forensic psychiatrist. There are no records to indicate that this occurred.

Police Interactions

Faisal Hussain did not have a criminal record.

On three occasions as an adult, between May 2010, and February 2014, police transported Hussain to hospital under the authority of the Mental Health Act.
Four years later, on July 20, 2018, two days before the Danforth shooting, Hussain was arrested after he attempted to steal ice cream. No charges were laid.

Investigators have not received evidence or information from other police services that Hussain had acted in a way that had warranted previous investigation.

Additional Investigation Results

On July 23, 2018, investigators executed a search warrant at Hussain’s family residence. Investigators seized multiple cellular phones, laptops, electronic and data storage devices. None of the devices contained information that would provide any motive for his actions on July 22, 2018.

Investigators also obtained Hussain’s cell phone records. None of the records or conversations, on any topic, provide insight into Hussain’s mental state, illegal activities, extremist views or hatred for a location or group.

Investigators also seized an empty gun box, AK-47 magazines, loaded with bullets, and rounds of loose and boxed ammunition, in a variety of calibers. A soft rifle case and a trigger guard were also seized.

Police also found heroin, MDA and Phenacetin, a cutting agent for street-level drugs, in Hussain’s bedroom. The quantity of drugs and packaging suggest the drugs were not for personal use. A toxicological analysis of Hussain’s blood revealed no significant findings.

On July 24, 2018, a postmortem examination of Hussain’s body was completed. Hussain’s injuries were consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Hussain’s body did not have any other medically significant injuries.

At the time of the shooting, Hussain was 29 years old. He was living with his parents in a two-bedroom apartment. The family had been living at the same address for most of Hussain’s life. The family did not report any concerning behaviour on the day of the shooting.

Read the entire Danforth Shootings Investigation Findings.



Allison MacNeil Sparkes, Corporate Communications, for Chief Mark Saunders