Toronto’s Greektown community are gathering tonight to remember the victims of a mass shooting last summer.
The vigil — set to begin at sunset — marks the first anniversary of the tragedy, which left two people dead and 13 others injured.
Community members gathered as light rain fell on a busy stretch of Danforth Avenue where a lone gunman went on a shooting rampage before killing himself last year.
Candles, flowers and photos of the victims were placed around a fountain as a choir sang nearby.
Eighteen-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis were killed in the shooting.
Their names will be read aloud at a parkette where Fallon was with a group of friends celebrating a birthday when the shots rang out.
Church bells will ring and the community will hold a moment of silence.
Fallon’s sister, Quinn, placed photos of Reese on a tree in the parkette during Monday’s gathering. She looked at the photos of her sister and hugged her friends, some of whom wore shirts that said “Protect kids not guns.”
Mayor John Tory issued a statement calling today “a sad milestone for the Danforth community and the entire City of Toronto.”
“A year later, the healing continues for the families who lost loved ones, for the injured, and for those who were traumatized by this terrible event,” the statement says.
Omar Hassan said he came to attend the vigil because he wanted to show his support for the community in person instead of reflecting on the tragedy on his own.
“I wanted to be another person, another number, to show support and share this experience with the community,” said the 25-year-old.
Shirley Ferris said she came to help the community heal from the tragedy.
Ferris said she is a chaplain with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, which provides emotional and spiritual support for victims of tragedies around the world. She said she came to the Danforth last year after the shooting to pray with community members and help them cope.
“Healing is a long journey and everyone does it differently,” said Ferris. “These vigils and memorials allow people to heal and share their stories.”
A commemorative ceremony was held Sunday at a nearby park where the community gathered for a moment of silence.
Police have said the motive for the attack is not known, but the gunman, Faisal Hussain, had a long history of mental health issues.
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