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Family of Toronto Mass Shooting Suspect Says He Struggled with Psychosis

Faisal Hussain, 29, has been identified as the gunman behind Sunday’s attack.

by Manisha Krishnan
24 July 2018, 7:15am

Police watch the perimeter of the scene of Toronto's mass shooting Monday. Photo by Christopher Katsarov/THE CANADIAN PRESS/

The family of Toronto mass shooting suspect Faisal Hussain released a statement Monday stating he suffered from “severe mental challenges” including psychosis and depression.

Hussain, 29, was identified by Ontario’s Special Investigation Unit as being responsible for Sunday night’s shooting in the Danforth, which claimed the lives of 18-year-old Reese Fallon and a 10-year-old girl whose name has not yet been released. Thirteen others were injured. Hussain was found dead in the area after the attack but it is still not clear whether he died by suicide or was fatally injured in a shootout with police.

Shortly after the SIU released Hussain’s name, his family released a statement to media apologizing for their son’s “horrific actions.”

“We are utterly devastated by the incomprehensible news that our son was responsible for the senseless violence and loss of life that took place on the Danforth,” the statement said.

"Our son had severe mental health challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life. The interventions of professionals were unsuccessful. Medications and therapy were unable to treat him. While we did our best to seek help for him throughout his life of struggle and pain, we could never imagine that this would be his devastating and destructive end.”

It went on to say the family was mourning the loss of life along with the rest of the city.

Police say Hussain used a handgun to carry out the attack though the motive for the shooting is still unknown. It is also not clear where he obtained the firearm—Canada’s gun licensing program requires applicants to disclose mental health issues and provide references.

Some are already describing the attack as an act of terrorism and blaming it on Justin Trudeau's immigration policies.

In response, the National Council of Canadian Muslims released a statement condemning the shooting.

“There can be no justification for such acts of brutal violence,” the statement said. “We urge everyone to wait for the police investigation to provide answers about this devastating situation before speculating about motive. Toronto is an incredible city and we know it will meet this tragedy with the same resilience and resolve that has made it what it is today.”

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This article originally appeared on VICE CA.