Outside Eaton Centre on Saturday evening (Image: Nourhane)
Almost two days after the Eaton Centre shooting that killed 24-year-old Ahmed Hassan and injured six others, Toronto police confirmed this morning that they have a suspect in custody. A man turned himself in to police around 2:30 a.m. in connection to the shooting in the crowded food court on Saturday, an event that has horrified the city and unearthed memories of the 2005 shooting that killed student Jane Creba. An upset Rob Ford said it was “very hard for me to accept what happened downtown last night,” and insisted that Toronto is “the safest city in the world” (though the stats tell a more complicated story, with lower homicide rates but more shootings since the start of 2012). Meanwhile, some columnists took up the topic of the “persistent sore” of gang activity, which is believed to have played a role in the weekend’s shooting, while others expressed palpable outrage or commended the police for being on the “right track.” Deputy Chief Jeff McGuire said Toronto’s collective shock is understandable and fitting: “I hope you’re shocked. If we ever get to the point when the shock is not there, then we’ve really lost the battle.”
Update: Police have identified the suspect as Christopher Husbands, a 23-year-old who is believed to have gang affiliations and who was supposed to be under house arrest at the time of the shooting. He will be charged with one count of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder. The Globe and Mail reports that Husbands met Hassan at the Eaton Centre to discuss gang turf, but the discussion got out of hand.
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