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Toronto Jury deciding fate of Eaton Centre shooter asks about grounds for finding him not criminally responsible

A jury deliberating in the case where a man is accused of opening fire at Toronto’s Eaton Centre six years ago is asking about the circumstances under which he could be found not criminally responsible.

Christopher Husbands, 29, is accused of shooting at a group of young men at the mall’s food court on June 2, 2012, killing two of them and injuring several others.

Defence lawyers have told the court that Husbands should not be held criminally responsible as he was in a dissociative state as a result of his PTSD, which was triggered by an encounter with some of the men who had brutally beaten and stabbed him months earlier.

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Crown lawyers have said the psychiatric experts who assessed Husbands agreed he had PTSD but were split on whether he could have been in a dissociative state when he fired 14 bullets.

On Sunday, the jury asked the Crown whether the physical act of shooting should be considered along with the outcome of each gunshot.

Husbands has pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, five counts of aggravated assault and one count each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and reckless discharge of a firearm.

He has testified he felt his arms come up and twitch, heard a loud bang and everything went dark.

The jury also asked for clarity on whether they should find Husbands not criminally responsible if they find he could understand the nature and quality of just some of the gunshots he fired.

The defence said there is no way to know which shots caused death and which did not so they believe it’s not worth going “down that rabbit hole.”

Jurors have heard Husbands faced a previous trial, but were not told the outcome or the reason for a second trial.

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