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Connor Stevenson, 13, Eaton Centre Shooting Victim, In Coma As Family Maintains Bedside Vigil

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Connor Stevenson, 13, of Port Hope, Ont., had been enjoying an afternoon going to a movie with his mom and older sister when they got caught up in the bloody food-court mayhem at the Eaton Centre. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Victor Biro)
Connor Stevenson, 13, of Port Hope, Ont., had been enjoying an afternoon going to a movie with his mom and older sister when they got caught up in the bloody food-court mayhem at the Eaton Centre. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Victor Biro)

A teenaged victim of the weekend shooting rampage at the landmark Eaton Centre was in a coma in critical condition Monday after surgery for a gunshot wound to his head, a relative said.

Connor Stevenson, 13, of Port Hope, Ont., had been enjoying an afternoon going to a movie with his mom and older sister when they got caught up in the bloody food-court mayhem.

Doctors had removed a piece of his skull to relieve swelling and were keeping him in an induced coma as his parents Joanne and Craig and sister Taylor, 15, and other close family members maintained a bedside vigil.

"He has moved his arms and legs — that's a good sign,'' the relative, who asked not to be named, told The Canadian Press.

"As far as anything else, no one knows.''

The relative said it was still too early to know exactly what Connor's prognosis would be.

However, she said the entire family was still in shock.

"This has hit very close to home,'' the relative said.

"It's devastating. You never think something like this is going to happen to your family.''

Meanwhile, the Eaton Centre re-opened Monday with the only obvious sign of Saturday's bloody chaos the closed food court where a gunman sprayed bullets, killing one person and wounding six others.

As visitors and tourists began filling the mall, retailers said they felt reassured a suspect had turned himself in and was in custody but said they were not particularly concerned about coming to work.

One retailer, Michael Mayne, admitted to feeling a "little tense'' as he began his workday at the centre, but said he believed the mall and city was safe.

"I'm a little on the edge,'' Mayne said. "If it's a gang-related situation, it doesn't stop there.''

Police said the man who died, Ahmed Hassan, 24, was believed to have gang ties, although it's not yet known if Saturday's rampage was gang-related.

They said they would release further information about the suspect at a news conference later in the day.

Police also said they would offer information to those clerks and visitors who left possessions behind when they fled the mayhem.

Eaton Centre spokeswoman Meredith Vlitas declined to discuss the situation.

"We're really trying to resume normal business operations as quickly as possible,'' Vlitas said.

"We would like to give our customers, tenants and staff the opportunity to recover from this tragedy and give everyone a chance to put this behind them and move on.''

In addition to those shot, a pregnant woman trampled in the chaotic rush for the exits was taken to hospital. One police source said the gunman likely escaped the mall even before officers were able to rush to the scene.

Besides Connor, a 23-year-old man also remained in critical condition.

Another retailer, Antonio Roberto, said, "These things do happen, unfortunately.''

"It is an isolated incident, and I feel safe,'' Roberto said. "Thank God it wasn't a bomb or a massive spraying of (bullets).''

As she helped open a clothing store, Karen Musytschka pointed out that the food-court was the equivalent of a "half-block away'' at one end of the cavernous mall.

"A lots of other things have happened a half block away from here, too,'' Musytschka said.

Connor's relative expressed frustration with what she called the lack of gun control in Canada and how gang wars lead to innocent people being victimized.

"These gangs seem to be just terrorizing towns and cities and families,'' the relative said.

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EATON CENTRE SHOOTING -- WARNING: GRAPHIC
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