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Survivors, mourners gather in Toronto to mark five years since Danforth shooting

Survivors of a mass shooting in Toronto’s Greektown have gathered alongside their relatives and other mourners to mark five years since the attack on the city’s bustling Danforth Avenue.

About 50 people met up in Withrow Park near two trees planted in 2019 to honour the victims, and some local officials including Mayor Olivia Chow were also on hand.

Eighteen-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis were killed, and 13 others injured, when a gunman went on a shooting rampage along a popular stretch of the street known locally as the Danforth in 2018.

It stands as one of the worst mass shootings in the city’s history, leading to advocacy for stronger gun control measures and a public health approach to gun violence.

An advocacy group made up of survivors and people affected by the shooting has become instrumental in pushing for stronger gun control measures, including Bill C-21 currently before the Senate.

The bill would legislate, among other provisions, a national freeze on handgun sales, a crackdown on homemade and untraceable so-called “ghost guns” and a technical definition of assault-style firearms intended to establish a permanent ban on future models.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2023.

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