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People drop flowers at a memorial during a vigil for victims of a mass shooting on Danforth Ave., in Toronto, on July 25, 2018.

Cole Burston/Getty Images

The Toronto Police Service has executed an additional nine search warrants in its investigation of last summer’s Danforth shooting, the service confirmed Wednesday; the same day that Ontario’s police watchdog concluded its own probe of the attack – finding that the officers’ actions were not only justified, but commendable.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which examines cases in which civilians may have been injured or killed by police, was tasked with investigating the exchange of gunfire between Toronto police officers and Faisal Hussain on July 22, before the 29-year-old ultimately shot himself in the head.

Before their encounter that night, Mr. Hussain shot and killed 18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis, and injured 13 others, as he opened fire on the busy Greektown strip.

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Related: Danforth shooter had cache of ammunition, conspiracy theory DVDs in his room, Toronto court documents reveal

In his report, published Wednesday, SIU director Tony Loparco concluded that he is “satisfied that Mr. Hussain took his own life and that no TPS officer involved in the incident committed a criminal offence. Indeed, in this case there is no evidence that the responding officers’ actions were anything but commendable in the face of truly perilous circumstances.”

It was on Bowden Street that police officers encountered Mr. Hussain, firing shots toward the busy 7Numbers restaurant on the corner.

Jerry Pinksen and Danielle Kane had been having dinner on the patio there, as a belated birthday celebration with a friend, when they heard the sounds of gunshots and a waitress ushered them inside. As they huddled with the other diners at the back of the restaurant, with the blinds drawn and the lights off, one woman cried out that she had witnessed someone get shot outside.

Mr. Pinksen, an emergency room nurse, felt compelled to help. He stepped out the side door onto Bowden Street and made it only a few steps toward Danforth Avenue before he heard a gun go off. What Mr. Pinksen hadn’t realized was that his girlfriend – herself a nursing student – had followed him to the doorway. As he scrambled to get back inside, she was hit in the chest with a bullet and collapsed.

It was around this same time, according to the SIU report, that the two officers on Bowden jumped out of their cruiser with their guns drawn.

Danielle Kane and Jerry Pinksen pose for a portrait on the balcony of their apartment in Toronto on Jan. 16, 2019. They are survivors of the Danforth shooting, a mass shooting on Toronto's Danforth Avenue, which occurred last July.

Marta Iwanek/ The Globe and Mail

Mr. Hussain turned to face them, and fired multiple times in their direction. They feared for their lives, the report said, and returned fire. One of the officers, as he took cover behind the cruiser, shot out the rear passenger window. Mr. Hussain fled northbound on Bowden and then westbound on Danforth.

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A few minutes later, officers found Mr. Hussain’s body on the ground in front of the Danforth Church at the corner. He was lying on his back, and a black .40-calibre Smith and Wesson handgun and two fully loaded handgun magazines were found near his body. Another empty magazine was on the sidewalk nearby. An autopsy concluded that his cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Mr. Loparco stressed that while “many serious questions” remain about Mr. Hussain’s actions that night, the SIU’s mandate is only to determine whether a police officer committed a criminal offence in relation to his death.

“It is clear that both officers feared for their lives and for the lives of others, and it is similarly clear that this fear was objectively reasonable. Mr. Hussain was actively shooting at the officers, creating an immediate and significant threat, and I find that it was reasonably necessary for the police officers to discharge their firearms in an ultimately failed attempt to neutralize that threat,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Chief Mark Saunders said in his own statement on Wednesday that the Toronto Police Service continues its own investigation into the shooting.

“We have committed to releasing a full investigative report when our work is done,” he said.

On Tuesday, redacted court documents from two of the service’s initial search warrant applications were made public, revealing that police found a cache of ammunition and a collection of conspiracy-theory DVDs in Mr. Hussain’s bedroom after the attack. An “Islamic headdress” and a white powder believed to be cocaine were also found.

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In an interview on Wednesday, Ms. Kane – who survived the shooting, but has been paralyzed from the waist down – said she was pleased to learn that the police officers had been commended in the SIU report.

“I thought that Toronto police did an excellent job of keeping the community as safe as they could. I thought they acted very quickly,” she said. “I think they’re heroes.”

While she and Mr. Pinksen are focused on moving forward – Ms. Kane said she is working on learning how to navigate stairs in her wheelchair – both acknowledge they have lingering questions about what spurred Mr. Hussain to do this.

And while she welcomes whatever information the Toronto Police investigation is able to discern, she hopes that their findings “won’t cause people to fear each other, or other groups in our community.”

“I would like to know whatever they manage to find out,” she said. “I am curious, but I’m not really focused on that. I’m just focusing on my own journey and my recovery.”

DANFORTH SHOOTING

This map shows the shooting rampage and final movements of Danforth shooter Faisal Hussain, after he exchanged gunfire with police and ultimately shot himself in the head.

TORONTO

Detail

Lake Ontario

Shooter found dead

Demetres:

Shooter opens fire on cafe

Alexander the Great Parkette: Victim shot

Danforth Church

Chester

Station

ARUNDEL AVE.

CHESTER AVE.

M

6

7Numbers:

Shooting

2

1

DANFORTH AVE.

4

HAMPTON AVE.

LOGAN AVE.

BOWDEN ST.

3

5

Police exchange gunfire with shooter

Second Cup:

More gunfire

john sopinski and MURAT YÜKSELIR /

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TORONTO

POLICE SERVICE; TORONTO OPEN DATA;

google maps; SIU

DANFORTH SHOOTING

This map shows the shooting rampage and final movements of Danforth shooter Faisal Hussain, after he exchanged gunfire with police and ultimately shot himself in the head.

TORONTO

Detail

Lake Ontario

Shooter found dead

Chester

Station

ARUNDEL AVE.

Demetres:

Shooter opens fire on cafe

Alexander the Great Parkette: Victim shot

CHESTER AVE.

M

Danforth Church

7Numbers:

Shooting

2

1

6

DANFORTH AVE.

3

4

HAMPTON AVE.

BOWDEN ST.

LOGAN AVE.

5

Second Cup:

More gunfire

Police exchange gunfire with shooter

john sopinski and MURAT YÜKSELIR /

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TORONTO POLICE

SERVICE; TORONTO OPEN DATA; google maps; SIU

DANFORTH SHOOTING

This map shows the shooting rampage and final movements of Danforth shooter Faisal Hussain, after he exchanged gunfire with police and ultimately shot himself in the head.

ARUNDEL AVE.

CHESTER AVE.

Shooter found dead

Demetres:

Shooter opens fire on cafe

Alexander the Great Parkette: Victim shot

M

Danforth Church

Chester Station

7Numbers: Shooting

2

1

4

DANFORTH AVE.

6

3

5

HAMPTON AVE.

BOWDEN ST.

Police exchange gunfire with shooter

Second Cup:

More gunfire

john sopinski and MURAT YÜKSELIR / THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE:

TORONTO POLICE SERVICE; TORONTO OPEN DATA; google maps; SIU

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