38 questions: Toronto’s Danforth shooting

Toronto's restaurant-lined Danforth Ave became ground-zero for terror in July 2018 when a lone gunman shot 15 and killed 2 people out enjoying a beautiful summer evening.

In Friday’s National Post, columnist extraordinaire Christie Blatchford asks: What is taking so long with the Toronto Danforth mass shooting investigation?

It’s a very good question

One young man with a handgun, walked down one of Toronto’s most popular restaurant-lined streets, on a beautiful summer evening, and shot 15 people. He killed two of them: 18-year old Reese Fallon and 10-year old Julianna Kozis. Then he died – presumably from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He may have been shot by police. We don’t know, because little or no information has been released by authorities.

As Blatchford points out, its been more than five months since the July 22, 2018 shooting and police have released virtually no information. Answered almost no questions. The Warren Commission that investigated the much more complex questions surrounding the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, Blatchford notes, took 12 months.

And there are many questions. About the attack, the shooter Faisal Hussain, about his motivation, about his mental health, about the police response, etc. In about five minutes, I jotted down 38 of them. I am pretty confident you and I both could add many more.

38 questions about the Danforth St. terror attack

  1. Was this a terrorist act?
  2. Is there an ongoing threat?
  3. The shooter was Muslim – is that a factor?
  4. Was he “radicalized?”
  5. If so, by whom: overseas actors or local ones?
  6. His brother was involved in crime – are the parents/other family a threat?
  7. Did Hussain have contact with a terror group(s)?
  8. Was he part of a local terror “cell?”
  9. Have his friends been radicalized?
  10. Was he targeting women?
  11. Were there any specific targets?
  12. What motivated him to attack?
  13. Why did he choose that location at that time?
  14. What kind of gun was used?
  15. Where did the gun come from?
  16. How did he get the gun?
  17. Was he a licensed firearm-owner?
  18. What previous interactions had he had with police?
  19. Who wrote the family’s press statement?
  20. How did they get involved?
  21. What motivated this PR assistance?
  22. What was the objective of the press statement – to protect the family, or to direct public attention away from Hussain’s Muslim faith and towards mental health?
  23. Was the family’s statement about Hussain’s mental health factual?
  24. What contact did Hussain have with the health / mental health system?
  25. Had he been identified by anyone as a threat to himself or others?
  26. Were the right mental health resources in place and available?
  27. Did he access them?
  28. What’s different about him and countless others with similar mental health issues – are they a threat?
  29. How fast did the police arrive?
  30. Could police have neutralized him sooner?
  31. Videos show a lot of officers wandering about with no obvious leadership – what have police learned about their response?
  32. How many police officers responded?
  33. How did this response affect police coverage/readiness in other areas of the city?
  34. Could the police have responded to another major incident elsewhere in the city during this one?
  35. What can retail shops do to better protect themselves?
  36. What can the city do to make its streets safer when this type of attack occurs?
  37. What can individuals do if they’re caught up in an attack like this?
  38. What can police and other responders do to improve the outcome?

Some answers, please.