Thursday, July 26, 2018

Handgun used in Toronto's Danforth shooting stolen during break-and-enter in Sask.: source

The handgun used in the Toronto mass shooting was a .40-calibre Smith & Wesson stolen in Saskatchewan in 2016, Global News has learned.

The gun, which killed 18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis, was stolen during a break-and-enter at a gun store in the province, according to the source.

Both Toronto and Saskatoon police declined to comment on the story.

In a redacted copy of the national firearms database released to Global News under access-to-information laws, only one firearm meets those criteria.

It was registered by a private individual in a rural Saskatchewan postal code in June of 2014. It was entered in the database as stolen on July 15, 2016. In the data, 24 other handguns and restricted rifles are entered as stolen on the same day in the same partial postal code. None of the guns were recovered.

The data is consistent with a large-scale theft of guns in a single event, but Global News cannot confirm this. Media reports have suggested it was obtained illegally and was originally from the United States. A spokesperson for the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had “no information” about the weapon or investigation.

Non-restricted long guns stolen at the same time would not appear in the data available to us.

Investigators in Toronto have been trying to piece together why Faisal Hussain opened fire Sunday night on the Danforth, known for its Greek restaurants and busy nightlife, killing two young women and injuring another 13.

The 29-year-old shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, sources confirmed to Global News. His family has said in a statement that he had “severe mental-health challenges,” including a lifelong struggle with depression and psychosis.

The Special Investigations Unit has not confirmed if Hussain died after exchanging gunfire with police or if his injuries were self-inflicted.

A handgun was recovered at the scene Sunday night but police have not said where the gun was sourced from.

As police continue to investigate Faisal Hussain, new information has surfaced about the criminal past of the older brother Fahad Hussain, 31, who was arrested in Saskatoon on July 25, 2015 and charged with possession of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking.

Court documents show the case was forwarded to federal prosecutors to be sent to Ontario, court documents show.

Fahad was released July 29, 2015 and ordered to reside with his parents Faroq and Sutana Hussain at a Thorncliffe Park address. He was arrested once again in February 2017 and charged with breaching his bail conditions after he was allegedly found to be in possession of shotgun shells. He was also charged with violating his curfew.

Released on Feb. 21 of that year on $10,000 bail, he was ordered to live in Pickering with his surety, a 33-year-old named Maisum Ansari.

At some point between February 2017 and September 2017, Fahad suffered a drug overdose and is now in a coma at Sunnybrook Hospital.

On Sept. 20, 2017, Durham Regional Police executed a search warrant at Ansari’s address after firefighters noticed a suspicious substance in the basement and alerted police. Police say they discovered 33 guns and seized 42 kilograms of what was later identified as the deadly street drug carfentanil, believed to be 100 times more potent than fentanyl.

Ansari was charged with 337 firearm-related offences and is currently out on bail. Global News reached out to his lawyer Leora Shemesh for comment but has not received a response. Investigators charged a second suspect Babar Ali, 30, in connection to the case last March.

All charges against Fahad were stayed and he was never convicted of a crime.

The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Toronto mass shooting Wednesday, yet provided no evidence linking the terrorist group to the tragedy.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said there is no evidence support these claims and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has said there is no known “nexus” between Hussain and national security.

“There is no national-security connection between this individual and any other national-security issue,” Goodale said.

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