The 10-year-old girl who was one of two people killed in the mass shooting in Toronto over the weekend was identified by police Tuesday night as Julianna Kozis.
The girl from Markham, Ont., was killed when gunfire erupted Sunday in the Toronto’s Greektown, police said, adding that her family has requested privacy during “their time of grief.”
Toronto city Coun. Jim Karygiannis, who told The Canadian Press via email that he knows the girl’s family and that her death is a “devastation” to the community.
“She had her whole life ahead of her, only to be taken in a senseless act of terror,” Karygiannis said Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti said in a statement Tuesday that the city will lower its flags in honour of Julianna.
“This senseless act of violence has shaken us and hurt us,” Scarpitti said. “We stand by the victims, the brave first responders and all the communities affected by this tragedy.”
The director of the York Region School Board said there are “few words to adequately express the depth of sorrow that we feel.”
“Nothing prepares us for the news of a tragedy like the one that took place in Toronto Sunday, especially one that affects children and youth, and happened so close to home,” Louise Sirisko said in a statement.
Investigators previously identified the other person killed in the shooting as 18-year-old Reese Fallon. She had recently graduated from high school and was preparing to study nursing at Hamilton’s McMaster University in the fall.
Thirteen others were injured in the shooting and the gunman, identified as 29-year-old Faisal Hussain, was found dead nearby.
Meanwhile, the Toronto neighbourhood shattered by the shooting began showing signs of recovery with customers flocking back to businesses that opened their doors Tuesday, vowing not to let the attack days earlier change their impressions of the lively community.
Many said they came to the area on a stretch of Danforth Avenue to reflect on the tragedy and to show their support for the neighbourhood known for its restaurants, boutiques and family homes.
“It’s good to see the street getting back to normal and they’re not changing the way they live,” said Dave Maugham, who grew up in the area and returned with his wife to have lunch at a local cafe. “We wanted to do that to show our support to the community. … They’ll get through it, and they’ll be Danforth Strong.”
Life in the area had largely come to a halt after Hussain fired indiscriminately at pedestrians and restaurant patrons on Sunday night and reminders of the weekend violence were still in evidence.
Three bullet holes could be seen in the front glass windows of Pappas Grill, a popular restaurant on Danforth Avenue. The manager, John Kilanis, said the restaurant reopened on Tuesday.
“On Monday we didn’t reopen to mourn the lives lost,” Kilanis said. “But today we have to move on.”
He said customers and staff ran to the back of the restaurant on Sunday as gunshots were fired into the restaurant. One of the bullets hit a waiter in the leg.
“He got released from hospital and he’s on crutches,” Kilanis said. “But he’s in good spirits. He was very lucky I think. It could have been worse.”
The fountain in Alexander the Great Parkette, which previously served as a gathering place for locals, was surrounded by flowers, chalk messages of love and signs of support.
Mary Marzo wrote a plea for “love and peace” in chalk at the memorial, saying the city and neighbourhood could use more of both at the moment.
“I had to come back to my community,” she said through tears. “It’s such a peaceful place and such a great community.”
Mark Harris brought his trained therapy dog Cocoa — a massive black Newfoundlander — to the fountain to see if he could be of any help.
While his opinion of Greektown remains untarnished, Harris said he suspected his behaviour at some of his regular haunts in the neighbourhood may change as a result of the tragedy.
“I’ll definitely be back,” he said. “I’ve just thought about being more vigilant with keeping an eye on my surroundings. Maybe even sitting farther back in the restaurant.”
Another memorial began to take shape at the high school Fallon attended until just weeks before her death.
Anthony Parise, who taught Fallon’s Grade 12 English class at Malvern Collegiate, remembered her as “a leader among her peers” and a fantastic caregiver.”
“Her plan was to become a mental health nurse,” he said. “Knowing what I know of Reese, she would have been an exceptional nurse, because she was a natural caregiver.”
Details began to emerge on Monday about the gunman at the centre of the violence.
Hussain’s family issued a statement saying their son had a long history of psychosis and depression and had not responded to numerous treatment approaches, including therapy and medication. The family said they were shocked at Hussain’s “senseless violence” and expressed their condolences for the families of the shooting victims.
Neighbours and friends said Hussain came from a supportive family beleaguered with troubles and showed no outward signs of mental illness.
Aamir Sukhera, who described himself as a friend, told reporters that while Hussain had confided his history of mental illness, he tried to hide his struggles from the world at large.
“Every time he saw you he’d smile, be polite, respectful,” Sukhera said. “When I heard this is what happened, I can’t put two and two together. I can’t believe it’s him.”
Ashley Robinson, who lived on the floor above Hussain’s apartment, saw him nearly every day and had a similar experience.
“He was always alone and would walk with his head down, but then would look at me and smile and say hello,” she said.
Fiaz Khan also said Hussain was a regular sight around the building, but did not mingle with fellow residents to the same degree as his well-liked parents. He recalled, however, that Hussain prided himself on working to support his relatives.
“He said ‘I’m a very good boy, I take care of my father, I take care of my mother,” Khan said.
Loblaw’s confirmed that Hussain had worked as a part-time store employee, but declined to provide further details.
Neighbours said the financial support Hussain provided would have been welcome for a family contending with numerous tragedies.
Both Khan and fellow neighbour Sadaf Pathan said Hussain’s sister had died in an accident some years before, while another brother was in hospital long-term with an unspecified condition. Khan said Hussain’s father also has Parkinson’s disease.
Ontario’s police watchdog is probing the circumstances around Hussain’s death, saying only that he died shortly after exchanging gunfire with two police officers. Monica Hudon of the Special Investigations Unit said an autopsy on Hussain’s body was completed but noted that the results would not be released until their probe ended.
Toronto police are carrying out their own investigation into the attack and completed a search of Hussain’s apartment on Tuesday.
— with files from Daniela Germano, Gabriele Roy and Alanna Rizza.
Michelle McQuigge and Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press