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Benefit concert to take place at Danforth Music Hall for victims of shooting

Billy Talent and a collection of other musicians are banding together to perform a concert at the Danforth Music Hall on August 11 in support of the #TorontoStrong fund following the Danforth shooting.

A benefit concert called Toronto Together will feature musicians such as Billy Talent, Pup, City and Colour, and other currently unannounced artists to raise money for the #TorontoStrong fund. The fund was started by the city of Toronto and Toronto Foundation to raise money for those affected by the April 23rd van attack and the July 22nd Danforth shooting.

The concert will also be taking place during Taste of the Danforth festival.

“What has happened in Toronto this summer and what happened on the Danforth a few blocks from our studio, has not only hit close to home, this has hit home,” Billy Talent said in a statement. “All we know is that we can’t just sit here. We don’t know what we want but we want to do something. We want to throw a concert to show the world and more importantly our community that Toronto is a place of love, of community, of kindness and compassion. The violence that has happened here this summer does not represent the majority.”

The Danforth Music Hall is only metres away from where the deadly July 22 shooting took place. 29-year-old gunman Faisal Hussain approached civilians in Toronto’s Greektown neighbourhood and open-fired, taking the lives of 10-year-old Julianna Kozis and 18-year-old Reese Fallon.

The Toronto Foundation wrote about how Mayor John Tory and the city of Toronto partnered with their foundation to establish the #TorontoStrong fund, which has gained over $3.5 million in donations for those affected by the van and Danforth attacks. “Serving as the Fund’s pro bono Fund Administrator, former Toronto Mayor Barbara Hall is working to disburse the entirety of funds to the victims in a timely fashion. Contributions will continue to be received up to August 31 with final disbursements made by September 30, 2018,” they wrote.

After the funds are distributed to the victims, the volunteer steering committee of the Toronto Foundation will generate further ideas to prevent future violence in the city and “long-term strategies related to city-wide impacts of mass acts of violence.”

Police release names of victims from Danforth shooting

Police released the names of the Danforth shooting suspect and victims following Sunday’s deadly attack.

Reese Fallon was identified as the 18-year-old Julianna Kozis was identified as the 10-year-old, both of whom lost their lives after a gunman open fired in Greektown over this past weekend. Fallon had recently graduated from the Malvern Collegiate Institute and was planning to attend McMaster for nursing.

Kozis, who was a Markham native, will be honored by flags flying half-mast. The mayor of Markham, Frank Scarpitti, released a statement on Twitter saying that “The City of Markham will lower flags in honour of her memory and in remembrance of all those affected by this unspeakable tragedy.”

Police have also identified the shooter as being 29-year-old Faisal Hussain. Hussain was said to be suffering from mental health issues, a concern that was addressed in the statement released by his parents.

“We are at a terrible loss for words but we must speak out to express our deepest condolences to the families who are now suffering on account of our son’s horrific actions,” his family said. “We are utterly devastated by the incomprehensible news that our son was responsible for the senseless violence and loss of life that took place on the Danforth.”

“Our son had severe mental health challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life. The interventions of professionals were unsuccessful. Medications and therapy were unable to treat him. While we did our best to seek help for him throughout his life of struggle and pain, we could never imagine that this would be his devastating and destructive end,” the statement continued. “Our hearts are in pieces for the victims and for our city as we all come to grips with this terrible tragedy. We will mourn those who were lost for the rest of our lives.”

A GoFundMe page was created on July 23 by Julie Steel, whose husband taught Fallon at Malvern Collegiate. The page was created “to establish a scholarship fund to be distributed each year to a graduate of Malvern Collegiate entering a nursing program as a way to keep Reese’s memory alive.” Steel wrote that the money will be directly released to Fallon’s family who will then be in charge of the logistics regarding the creation of a scholarship. To date, the page has raised $31,680 of its $50,000 goal.