Danforth shooting victims commemorated in Withrow Park

Victims and family members affected by the 2018 mass shooting on Danforth Avenue joined mayor John Tory, local councillor Paul Fletcher and others at a ceremony this morning to mark the second anniversary of the tragedy.

They laid flowers in Withrow Park beneath two trees planted in memory of 18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis, who were killed on July 22, 2018.

Another 13 people were injured when a gunman opened fire on Danforth’s restaurants, bars and sidewalks in the evening.

Among the victims was Danielle Kane who placed flowers under the trees alongside Tory, Fletcher and members of the victims families.

During the shooting two years ago, Kane was struck in the spine by a bullet, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.

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The commemoration was kept “modest” in size due to the continuing pandemic, Tory said but he still thought it was important to commemorate the victims.

“I have had the chance over the last week or so to talk to most of the families of the people we’ve lost and the people who were injured,” he said. “A lot of the healing has occurred, but we all know that when things heal, there are still scars that are left.”

In a separate statement, Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said the shooting had left the community in mourning.

“While two years have passed, I am certain the memories are still vivid not just for those who were most impacted but also for the many first responders who rushed to the scene that day,” he said.

Virtual commemoration

A public commemoration ceremony is to take place this afternoon, but will be held online due to public health restrictions, city officials said.

Families and friends of Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis may visit Withrow Park throughout the day and lay flowers beneath the trees while maintaining physical distancing.

The two trees were planted in the northeast corner of Withrow Park on the first anniversary of the tragedy in memory of the two girls.

The Toronto sign at City Hall is also to be dimmed tonight in memory of those killed and injured in the Danforth shooting.