Police have charged a 23-year-old man with one count of first degree murder and six counts of attempted murder in connection to the Saturday shooting inside Toronto's Eaton Centre that left one man dead and wounded six others, including a 13-year-old boy.
Christopher Husbands, who was accompanied by a lawyer, turned himself in to police early Monday morning, said Toronto police Det. Sgt. Brian Borg at a Monday afternoon news conference.
At the time of the shooting, Husbands had been charged with another offence and was under house arrest, Borg said.
"Our investigation continues to suggest that this is a targeted shooting and not a random act of violence against members of the general public," said Borg.
Borg wouldn't discuss the motive of the shooting.
"Even though there are several persons who have now been identified in this case as being known gang members, or who have gang associations, I do not believe this to be a gang-motivated shooting."
Police believe Ahmed Hassan, the 24-year-old killed at the scene, was almost certainly an intended target of the shooting. Another 23-year-old man who was shot several times in the neck and chest was also likely targeted, according to police.
Borg confirmed that Husbands, Hassan and the wounded 23-year-old were all in the same gang, but he didn't specify which one. Borg stressed that despite this link, police don't think the gang affiliation was a factor in the shooting.
"I believe that there's personal aspects involved," he said.
Teen 'doing well'
The youngest victim of the shooting — a 13-year-old boy — was an innocent bystander caught up in the attack. He was shot in the head. The Grade 8 student from Port Hope, Ont., was visiting Toronto with his family at the time of the attack.
He was taken to Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children following the shooting.
"After complicated neurosurgery, we are happy to say that he is doing well, all things considered; he is alert and talking. It will be a long healing process, but we are optimistic that he will recover," the boy's family said in a statement.
The Hospital for Sick Children said an earlier report by The Canadian Press that the boy was in a medically induced coma was inaccurate.
The boy is in fair condition, the hospital said.
The 23-year-old man who was shot in the neck and chest remains hospitalized, while the four other people who suffered gunshot wounds have all been released from hospital.
Susan Allen, the mall’s general manager, told reporters on Monday afternoon that Eaton Centre staff are hoping that those injured in the shooting have “a speedy and complete recovery.”
The Eaton Centre is a popular tourist attraction that receives roughly one million visitors a week.
Belongings left at food court can be picked up
The shooting, which has attracted international attention, took place in the mall's busy lower-level food court.
The mall was locked down immediately after the shooting, but police did not locate any suspects during their search. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene after being shot multiple times.
The nature of the injuries to the six wounded are as follows:
- A 25-year-old woman was wounded in her left leg and has been released from hospital.
- A 22-year-old man was also wounded in his left leg and also released from hospital.
- A 23-year-old man remains in hospital after suffering “multiple gunshot injuries” to his neck and chest.
- A 13-year-old who was visiting from out of town with his family, was wounded in the head and remains in hospital.
- A 30-year-old woman suffered a “gunshot-graze wound” to her abdomen and has been released from hospital.
- A 22-year-old woman was wounded in the hand, but left hospital without treatment.
Additionally, a 28-year-old pregnant woman went into labour after being knocked down in the rush to flee the area. However, she was discharged from hospital on Sunday and did not give birth.
Those who left their belongings in the food court during an evacuation following the shooting will be able to pick up their property on Tuesday, Borg said. Police are asking affected people to go to Toronto police's 51 Division on Tuesday starting at 9 a.m. with photo identification.
Interested parties should not call ahead before picking up their belongings, said Borg.
The mall reopened Monday morning at its regular time.
Storekeepers said they were not concerned about coming to work. They said they feel reassured it was an isolated incident and that a suspect is in custody.
The food court where the shooting happened is expected to remain closed until Tuesday.
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