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SIU Director’s Report - Case # 18-TCD-220

Contents:

News Releases for this Case:

French:

Mandate of the SIU

The Special Investigations Unit is a civilian law enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving police officers where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. The Unit’s jurisdiction covers more than 50 municipal, regional and provincial police services across Ontario.

Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether an officer has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation. If, after an investigation, there are reasonable grounds to believe that an offence was committed, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the officer. Alternatively, in all cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director does not lay criminal charges but files a report with the Attorney General communicating the results of an investigation.

Information restrictions

Freedom of Information and Protection of Personal Privacy Act (“FIPPA”)

Pursuant to section 14 of FIPPA (i.e., law enforcement), certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Confidential investigative techniques and procedures used by law enforcement agencies; and
  • Information whose release could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding. 
Pursuant to section 21 of FIPPA (i.e., personal privacy), protected personal information is not included in this document. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Subject Officer name(s);
  • Witness Officer name(s);
  • Civilian Witness name(s);
  • Location information; 
  • Witness statements and evidence gathered in the course of the investigation provided to the SIU in confidence; and 
  • Other identifiers which are likely to reveal personal information about individuals involved in the investigation.


Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (“PHIPA”)

Pursuant to PHIPA, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.

Other proceedings, processes, and investigations

Information may have also been excluded from this report because its release could undermine the integrity of other proceedings involving the same incident, such as criminal proceedings, coroner’s inquests, other public proceedings and/or other law enforcement investigations.

Mandate engaged

The Unit’s investigative jurisdiction is limited to those incidents where there is a serious injury (including sexual assault allegations) or death in cases involving the police.

“Serious injuries” shall include those that are likely to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim and are more than merely transient or trifling in nature and will include serious injury resulting from sexual assault. “Serious Injury” shall initially be presumed when the victim is admitted to hospital, suffers a fracture to a limb, rib or vertebrae or to the skull, suffers burns to a major portion of the body or loses any portion of the body or suffers loss of vision or hearing, or alleges sexual assault. Where a prolonged delay is likely before the seriousness of the injury can be assessed, the Unit should be notified so that it can monitor the situation and decide on the extent of its involvement.

This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into the death of Mr. Faisal Hussain on July 22, 2018, which occurred following an interaction with two Toronto Police Service (TPS) officers.

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On July 22, 2018, at 10:47 p.m., the TPS reported that a man [now known to be Mr. Faisal Hussain] discharged a firearm in the area of Danforth Avenue and Logan Avenue. He then fled west on foot into an alleyway where he either shot himself or was shot by the police.

The Team

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 7
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 3

Complainant

Faisal Hussain 29-year-old male, deceased

Civilian Witnesses

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Interviewed
CW #6 Interviewed
CW #7 Interviewed
CW #8 Interviewed
CW #9 Interviewed
CW #10 Interviewed
CW #11 Interviewed
CW #12 Interviewed
CW #13 Interviewed
CW #14 Interviewed
CW #15 Interviewed

Witness Officers

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed
WO #5 Interviewed
WO #6 Interviewed
WO #7 Interviewed
WO #8 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #9 Not interviewed

Witness Officer (WO) #8’s notes were reviewed and it was determined that he was with WO #7 when they found Mr. Hussain deceased on the north side of the Danforth Church [located at 60 Bowden Street]. WO #8’s notes were consistent with that of WO #7.

On September 19, 2018, TPS advised that there were no duty notes from WO #9 because WO #9 had lost his notebook. The in-car camera system (ICCS) footage from WO #9’s cruiser was reviewed and it was observed that he arrived on Bowden Street at 10:08 p.m. [now known to be after Mr. Hussain encountered WO #2 and WO #3].


Incident Narrative

On July 22, 2018, at 10:00 p.m., multiple people called 911 to report an active shooter on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. Mr. Faisal Hussain was walking westbound on Danforth Avenue with a handgun and there were reports of people having been injured at multiple restaurants.

WO #2 and WO #3 were working together that night and shared a police vehicle (police vehicle #1). WO #3 was driving. They were dispatched to the area in response to the 911 calls and drove northbound on Bowden Street towards Danforth Avenue.

At approximately 10:06 p.m. the officers were approaching Danforth Avenue when they encountered Mr. Hussain on the west sidewalk of Bowden Street. He was holding a handgun and fired several shots towards 7Numbers restaurant, a restaurant with an outdoor patio on the east side of Bowden Street.

WO #2 and WO #3 exited their vehicle with their firearms drawn. Mr. Hussain turned to face them and discharged his firearm multiple times in their direction. WO #2 and WO #3, fearing for their lives, returned fire. WO #2 moved to take cover behind the police vehicle and discharged his firearm, hitting the police cruiser’s rear passenger window, causing the glass to shatter and a projectile to become lodged in the window’s frame. Mr. Hussain fled northbound on Bowden Street and then westbound on Danforth Avenue.

A few minutes later, TPS officers found Mr. Hussain’s body on Danforth Avenue. He was lying on his back on the sidewalk in front of the Danforth Church, located at 60 Bowden Street. He had significant trauma to his head. A black coloured Smith and Wesson .40 calibre handgun and two fully loaded handgun magazines were located near his body.

Cause of Death

On August 10, 2018, the SIU received the post mortem report related to the examination of Mr. Hussain’s body. The report concluded that the cause of Mr. Hussain’s death was a perforating gunshot wound of the head and brain.

Evidence

The Scene

Danforth Avenue was an approximately 9.2 km street that was laid out in a more or less west and east orientation between Kingston Road and the Don Valley Parkway. On both the south and north sides of Danforth Avenue were many restaurants, stores, apartments and businesses. The streets that ran perpendicular, or north and south to Danforth Avenue were mainly residential streets with modest sized homes.

Starting from Pape Avenue on Danforth Avenue, the area was known as “Greektown.” There were many restaurants along Danforth Avenue, which had outdoor patios that flanked onto the sidewalk along Danforth Avenue. As per the TPS’s Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) report, 911 calls were received by people that stated shots had been fired in the area of Pappas Grill, which was a restaurant located at 440 Danforth Avenue. Pappas Grill was located on the north side of Danforth Avenue, between Logan Avenue (east of Pappas Grill) and Arundel Avenue (west of Pappas Grill), and it had an outdoor patio that flanked onto the sidewalk of Danforth Avenue.

Information from the CAD stated that Mr. Hussain continued walking west on Danforth Avenue until he arrived at Bowden Street. Bowden Street was approximately 300 metres west of Pappas Grill. There was an alleyway, which Mr. Hussain walked through, that was located on Bowden Street, just south of Danforth Avenue. The alleyway travelled only west from Bowden Street and it was essentially a rear laneway for the homes located along Dearbourne Avenue and for businesses located on the south side of Danforth Avenue.

Figure 1 - The alleyway south of Danforth Avenue that Mr. Hussain walked through before encountering WO #2 and WO #3 on Bowden Street.

The alleyway south of Danforth Avenue that Mr. Hussain walked through before encountering WO #2 and WO #3 on Bowden Street.

Located on the southeast corner of Bowden Street and Danforth Avenue was 7Numbers Restaurant, located at 307 Danforth Avenue. The restaurant had an outdoor patio that flanked onto Bowden Street. It was learned that when Mr. Hussain walked out of the alleyway, he stood on the west side sidewalk of Bowden Street, directly across from the patio of 7Numbers, and began shooting into the outdoor patio area of that restaurant.

Upon arrival of SIU investigators on July 23, 2018, at approximately 1:45 a.m., TPS secured Danforth Avenue from Pape Avenue to Broadview Avenue. Located on Bowden Street, just south of Danforth Avenue, a police cruiser (police vehicle #1) was parked in the middle of the street facing north. The rear passenger window of the cruiser was shot out and had shattered onto the ground. There were two nickel plated cartridge cases on Bowden Street just south of the cruiser.

Figure 2 – A northbound view of WO #2 and WO #3’s police cruiser on Bowden Street. Two nickel cartridge cases, indicated by yellow evidence markers, were located just south of the cruiser.

A northbound view of WO #2 and WO #3’s police cruiser on Bowden Street. Two nickel cartridge cases, indicated by yellow evidence markers, were located just south of the cruiser.

A bullet fragment was located to the north of the cruiser. Further north of the fragment were five brass cartridge cases on the west sidewalk of Bowden Street, across from 7Numbers restaurant.

Figure 3 – The west sidewalk of Bowden Street across the street from 7Numbers restaurant. Yellow evidence markers indicate the locations of the five brass cartridge cases that were found.

The west sidewalk of Bowden Street across the street from 7Numbers restaurant. Yellow evidence markers indicate the locations of the five brass cartridge cases that were found.

Bullet strikes were found on the building housing the 7Numbers restaurant as well as on the outdoor chairs and on the barrier patio walls of the property.

The east side of Danforth Church flanked onto the west sidewalk of Bowden Street while the north side of the church flanked onto Danforth Avenue. The address of Danforth Church was 60 Bowden Street.

Mr. Hussain’s body was located on the south sidewalk of Danforth Avenue, just in front of the north side of the church and to the west of a yellow coloured fire hydrant and a city styled park bench. There was also a red coloured jeep which was parked on the south curb near the church. Mr. Hussain’s body was just east of the front of the vehicle.

Mr. Hussain’s body was in a supine position with his feet facing north towards Danforth Avenue and his head facing south towards the church. Mr. Hussain’s legs were crossed and his arms were to his sides. There was a medium sized black coloured satchel that was strapped across his body and to the upper right of him. Mr. Hussain was wearing dark blue coloured jeans, with a silver chain hooked on the belt buckle, a dark coloured checkered shirt, a black coloured sleeveless hoodie, and black coloured shoes.

There was a black coloured baseball hat located just to the west of Mr. Hussain’s legs. Mr. Hussain had black coloured hair and a beard. There was severe trauma to the right side of his temple area and there was extreme blood loss beneath his body. A brass coloured casing was located to the upper right side of Mr. Hussain’s body, near the satchel.

By the bench a few feet to the east of Mr. Hussain’s body was an empty handgun magazine. Against the north side church wall and near Mr. Hussain’s body was a black coloured Smith and Wesson .40 calibre handgun and next to it were two full handgun magazines and a black coloured magazine holder. The cartridges inside the magazines were shiny brass in colour.

Figure 4 – The Smith and Wesson .40 calibre handgun with two full handgun magazines and a magazine holder, which were located against the wall of the Danforth Church and next to Mr. Hussain's body.

The Smith and Wesson .40 calibre handgun with two full handgun magazines and a magazine holder, which were located against the wall of the Danforth Church and next to Mr. Hussain's body.

Scene Diagram

Scene diagram

Physical Evidence

Examination of Police Vehicle #1 Summary

On July 24, 2018, an examination of police vehicle #1, which was a fully marked Ford Crown Victoria, was initiated. WO #2 and WO #3 were operating this cruiser on July 22, 2018, prior to the rear passenger window being shot out. Upon examination of the cruiser, a projectile was located in the window frame of the rear passenger window, which was consistent with WO #2’s admission of shooting and striking the same window and shattering it.

Figure 5 – The rear window of WO #2 and WO #3's police cruiser which shattered when it was struck by a bullet. A projectile was found lodged in the bent portion of the frame.

The rear window of WO #2 and WO #3's police cruiser which shattered when it was struck by a bullet. A projectile was found lodged in the bent portion of the frame.

Expert Evidence

Firearms Report

On July 23, 2018, SIU Forensic Investigators collected seven brass coloured cartridge cases, a bullet jacket fragment, a .40 calibre Smith and Wesson black coloured handgun, one empty magazine, and five loaded magazines from the area of Danforth Avenue and Bowden Street. Also collected were WO #2 and WO #3’s handguns, which were .40 calibre Glock model 22 handguns, and their use of force equipment.

Later that day, WO #3’s use of force equipment was examined and it was discovered that the magazine that was in WO #3’s handgun contained 11 bullets in it and one bullet in the chamber. This indicates that WO #3 fired a maximum of three rounds during the incident, based on his evidence that he went on duty armed with a firearm containing 15 rounds. The two spare magazines were loaded with 14 bullets each.

After examining WO #2’s use of force equipment, it was discovered that the magazine in WO #2’s handgun contained 12 bullets and one bullet in the chamber. If the information WO #2 provided in his interview is accurate, specifically, that he went on duty with a firearm that contained a total of 14 rounds, this would mean that the officer discharged his firearm once during the incident. The two spare magazines were loaded with 14 bullets each.

On July 30, 2018, TPS sent a letter requesting that they take possession of the handgun that was found with Mr. Hussain’s body along with the magazines and cartridge cases that were recovered. They advised that they would submit the evidence to the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) for analysis and would share the results of the analysis with the SIU. On August 1, 2018, TPS attended the SIU office and they were given the evidence they requested.

On August 8, 2018, an SIU Forensic Investigator provided a CFS Forensic Scientist with WO #2 and WO #3’s handguns, as well as two nickel plated cartridge cases located at the scene and a brass plated cartridge case located by Mr. Hussain’s body.

On October 4, 2018, CFS provided a firearms report analysis which confirmed that one of the nickel plated cartridge cases was discharged from WO #3’s handgun and the second nickel plated cartridge case was discharged from WO #2’s handgun. The report also stated that the brass plated cartridge case that had been submitted for testing was discharged from the handgun that was found with Mr. Hussain’s body.


Post-Mortem Report

On July 24, 2018, at approximately 10:00 a.m., a post mortem autopsy on Mr. Hussain’s body was performed at the CFS. Later that afternoon, the SIU was advised that Mr. Hussain had died of a gunshot wound to the right temple and it appeared to be typical of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The SIU was also advised that there was a muzzle stamp present around the entrance wound to the right temple.

On August 10, 2018, a post mortem report was received and the following is a summary of the report based on the July 24, 2018, post mortem autopsy:

  • Major findings at the autopsy were found in the head;
  • A contact gunshot wound of entrance was present in the right temple;
  • There was a muzzle stamp present on the wound;
  • CT imaging of the head showed a bullet wound track through the brain;
  • An exit wound was present in the left parietal convexity;
  • The wound path was from right to left, front to back and upward;
  • Bullet fragments were not retained in the head and the bullet exited the head;
  • Based on the wound track, the wound necessarily traversed the brain;
  • This injury would have been essentially immediately incapacitating and fatal; 
  • The contact nature of the entry wound and its [presence] at a site of election (right temple) were features often observed with self-inflicted gunshot wounds; and 
  • There was no evidence of other significant injuries to the body.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence

Summary of Video Footage from Social Media Twitter

On July 22, 2018, a Twitter user by the name of “Stilez” posted a four second cell phone video of what appeared to be a man [now known to be Mr. Hussain] dressed in dark clothing and carrying a black coloured bag around his body, walking quickly on the sidewalk [now known to be on the north side sidewalk of Danforth Avenue] when he stopped in front of what appeared to be a store or restaurant [now known to be a restaurant; however, the name of the restaurant is unknown].

At this time, Mr. Hussain faced in [or faced north] towards the restaurant and raised and extended both of his arms towards the restaurant. It appeared that Mr. Hussain was holding a black coloured object [now known to be a handgun] in both of his hands. At the three second mark of the video, it appeared the cell phone was dropped and the video became blurry; however, three distinct gunshots could be heard.


7Numbers Restaurant Video Footage Summary

TPS provided video footage from the 7Numbers Restaurant located at 307 Danforth Avenue. A camera (Camera 07) was situated on the west side of the building and it was facing and focused on Bowden Street. The date of the incident occurred on July 22, 2018 at approximately 10:06 p.m. It appeared that the time stamp on the footage was not accurate and was approximately 1 hours and 20 minutes behind Eastern Standard Time (EST). The following is a summary of what took place just prior to WO #2 and WO #3’s cruiser arriving northbound on Bowden Street at approximately 10:06 p.m. (times in this report will reflect the time that was shown on the video footage):

  • At 8:42:50 p.m., three people were sitting on the patio of the restaurant and eating. An unknown man walked onto the road on Bowden Street and the three people abruptly got up from the table and entered into the restaurant using a side door. The plates remained on the table. The unknown man walked south on Bowden and went out of camera view;
  • At 8:47:05 p.m., a man [now known to be Mr. Faisal Hussain] was seen walking north on Bowden Street, on the west side sidewalk. He appeared to be walking backwards facing south on Bowden Street. At this time, another person [now known to be CW #2] was seen running from the west side sidewalk to the east side sidewalk;
  • At 8:47:11 p.m., Mr. Hussain’s arms could be seen rising and a bright flash was seen going off [now known to be from a firearm]. Mr. Hussain was still facing south on Bowden Street;
  • At 8:47:15 p.m., Mr. Hussain discharged his firearm again, still facing south on Bowden Street. Mr. Hussain was seen walking north on Bowden Street and he was eventually out of camera view; and
  • At 8:48:57 p.m., a SUV TPS cruiser drove south on Bowden with its emergency lights activated. The cruiser drove out of camera view.


Summary of ICCS Video Footage from Police Vehicle #1

TPS provided ICCS video footage from police vehicle #1, which was operated by WO #3 (driver) and WO #2 on July 22, 2018. The following is a summary of the footage captured pertaining to the police officers’ interactions with Mr. Hussain:

  • At 10:06:08 p.m., WO #3 turned onto Bowden Street and travelled north. It appeared that at this time the emergency lights were activated;
  • At 10:06:25 p.m., it appeared that the emergency lights were turned off;
  • At 10:06:36 p.m., it appeared that a person [now known to be CW #2] at a distance ran from the west side sidewalk to the east side sidewalk and disappeared behind a parked vehicle located on the east side curb;
  • At 10:06:40 p.m., a person [now known to be Mr. Faisal Hussain] was standing on the west side sidewalk and a flash of light was seen emanating from his person [now known to be the muzzle flashes from a firearm]. Between 10:06:40 p.m. to 10:06:46 p.m., four more muzzle flashes could be seen emanating from Mr. Hussain’s person;
  • At 10:06:48 p.m. it appeared that Mr. Hussain’s feet or body shifted/moved and another muzzle flash could be seen. Immediately afterwards, Mr. Hussain could be seen running north on Bowden Street towards Danforth Avenue and then turned left or west onto Danforth Avenue;
  • At 10:06:51 p.m., Mr. Hussain was out of camera view;
  • At 10:07:06 p.m., a man [possibly CW #2] was running towards the cruiser on the east side sidewalk of Bowden Street with his hands up in the air but then the man went down on the ground and laid still; 
  • At 10:08:27 p.m., A SUV cruiser [now known to have been operated by WO #9] drove south on Bowden Street and parked directly across from WO #3’s cruiser. At this time, a police officer [now known to be WO #2] walked north towards WO #9’s cruiser. It appeared that WO #2 was holding a firearm; and 
  • At 10:08:54 p.m., WO #9 repositioned his cruiser and parked it on a driveway facing east. At this time, another police officer [now known to be WO #3] approached WO #9’s cruiser.


Summary of ICCS Video Footage from Police Vehicle #2

On July 22, 2018, two undesignated TPS officer operated police vehicle #2. [1] ICCS video footage was obtained from police vehicle #2 and the following is a summary of what was observed:

  • At 10:01 p.m., the video footage started. Police vehicle #2 was stationary;
  • At 10:01:34 p.m., police vehicle #2 was in motion with its emergency lights and sirens activated (audio was inaudible at times due to the volume of the sirens);
  • At 10:02:44 p.m., police vehicle #2 travelled west on Danforth Avenue;
  • At 10:05:33 p.m., police vehicle #2 stopped in front of a store or a restaurant and a man approached the cruiser and spoke with the police officers;
  • At 10:06 p.m., police vehicle #2 continued west on Danforth Avenue;
  • At 10:07 p.m., police vehicle #2 turned left or south onto a side street but then immediately turned back out onto Danforth Avenue and continued west. At this time, a male police officer could be heard broadcasting over the radio “shots fired” and “westbound”;
  • At 10:07:10 p.m., police vehicle #2 continued to travel west on Danforth Avenue and approached Bowden Street. At the southwest corner of Danforth Avenue and Bowden Street was the Danforth Church, located at 60 Bowden Street; and 
  • At 10:07:11 p.m., police vehicle #2 travelled west on Danforth Avenue passing the Danforth Church and the fire hydrant. At this time, it could not be determined if Mr. Hussain was in and around this area due to inadequate lighting. No police officers or cruisers could be seen in this area at this time. 


Summary of ICCS Video Footage from Police Vehicle #3

On July 22, 2018, two undesignated TPS officers operated police vehicle #3. ICCS video footage was obtained from police vehicle #3 and the following was observed:

  • At 10:01 p.m., the video footage started. Police vehicle #3 was stationary and parked in a parking lot;
  • At 10:01:40 p.m., police vehicle #3 began travelling with emergency lights and sirens activated (audio was inaudible at times due to the volume of the sirens);
  • At 10:03 p.m., police vehicle #3 travelled west on Danforth Avenue;
  • At 10:05:33 p.m., police vehicle #3 stopped behind police vehicle #2. The cruisers appeared to be in front of a store or restaurant. The radio transmission from inside of police vehicle #3 could be heard transmitting that there were multiple victims by a restaurant called Alexandros;
  • At 10:06:42 p.m., radio communications from inside the cruiser could be heard stating that there was a victim at the Pappas Grill;
  • At 10:06:55 p.m., a male police officer’s voice could be heard yelling “shots fired” and “westbound”;
  • At 10:07:03 p.m., police vehicle #3 continued to travel west on Danforth Avenue and approached Bowden Street. At the southwest corner of Danforth Avenue and Bowden Street there was the Danforth Church, located at 60 Bowden Street; and 
  • At 10:07:05 p.m., police vehicle #3 travelled west on Danforth Avenue passing the Danforth Church and the fire hydrant. At this time, it could not be determined if Mr. Hussain was in and around this area due to inadequate lighting. Again, no police officers or cruisers could be seen in this area at this time. 


Summary of ICCS Video Footage from Police Vehicle #4

On July 22, 2018, WO #9 operated police vehicle #4. ICCS video footage was obtained from police vehicle #4 and the following was observed:

  • At 10:01:54 p.m., WO #9 started to drive onto a roadway;
  • At 10:02:10 p.m., the emergency lights and sirens were activated. The communications centre could be heard saying “shots”;
  • At 10:04:25 p.m., communications could be heard saying “there are at least two people shot” and “suspect was last seen westbound on Danforth. A white male suspect. One victim was in a restaurant”
  • At 10:05 p.m., an unknown officer could be heard saying “suspect is west on foot;”
  • At 10:06:56 p.m., a police officer [now known to have been WO #3] was heard saying “shots fired” and “he’s heading westbound”;
  • At 10:07:58 p.m., WO #9 drove west on Danforth Avenue, past Bowden Street and the Danforth Church. At this time, due to inadequate lighting, no persons could be seen near the north side of the Danforth Church. No police cruisers or police officers could be seen in the area as well;
  • At 10:08:14 p.m., WO #9 made a U-turn on Danforth Avenue and proceeded to drive east on Danforth Avenue;
  • At 10:08:19 p.m., as WO #9 drove towards the south curb lane of Danforth Avenue, passing a red coloured jeep and the north side of the Danforth Church, no persons or police officers or cruisers could be seen in this area; and 
  • At 10:08:28 p.m., WO #9 drove south on Bowden Street where he was met with WO #2 and WO #3, who had their handguns drawn. WO #2 and WO #3’s cruiser could be seen parked facing north with both front doors open. One of the police officers told WO #9 that they were shot at and the suspect [now known to be Mr. Hussain] fled westbound on Danforth Avenue. A man [now known to be CW #2] could be seen sitting on the ground on the east side sidewalk of Bowden Street. The police officers could be heard saying that Mr. Hussain was a “skinny brown guy.”


Summary of Video Footage from a Residence on Danforth Avenue

A resident on the south side of Danforth Avenue, west of Bowden Street, provided video footage from two cameras of activity that took place in and around his home on July 22, 2018. The resident advised that the time stamp on the video footage was about 23 minutes behind real time (EST); however, after the Investigator reviewed the footage, it was determined that the videos were about 37 minutes behind real time (EST). The following is a summary what was captured on each camera:

Camera 1 (times reflect what was shown on the footage):
  • At 9:26:27 p.m., a man [now known to be Mr. Hussain] was walking briskly westbound in an alleyway [now known to be the alleyway located west of Bowden Street and south of Danforth Avenue]. Mr. Hussain was wearing dark coloured clothing, a hat, and he was carrying a satchel over his left side and over his right shoulder. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Hussain walked out of camera view;
  • At 9:26:50 p.m., an unknown man was running west in the alleyway;
  • At 9:26:57 p.m., an unknown second man was running west in the alleyway and was carrying a device or phone in his hand;
  • At 9:28:30 p.m., Mr. Hussain was seen walking east in the alleyway and it appeared that he was carrying a handgun in his right hand; 
  • At 9:28:44 p.m., Mr. Hussain was out of camera view;
  • At 9:29 p.m., the second unknown man was running east in the alleyway holding a phone to his right ear;
  • At 9:34:10 p.m., the illumination of a flashlight off the ground was seen coming from the right side of the footage. A chain link gate swung open. Three police officers with their handguns drawn were seen entering into the alleyway; and
  • At 9:34:27 p.m., a fourth police officer joined the other officers in the alleyway with his handgun drawn.

The remainder of the video showed the police officers scanning the area.

Camera Two
Most of the video footage captured on this camera, starting at 9:25:23 p.m., was of cruisers driving west on Danforth Avenue and/or stopping directly in camera view on Danforth Avenue. The camera was positioned to oversee a laneway that was located west of the residence and it was pointed north towards Danforth Avenue. Police officers were seen walking south in this laneway towards a chain linked fence and walking past it after it was open. This activity was consistent with what was captured from camera one.

Communications Recordings

TPS CAD Summary

On July 23, 2018, TPS provided a 143-page CAD events report that detailed the several 911 calls and radio communications that were transmitted on July 22, 2018 to July 23, 2018. Due to the volume of 911 calls that were received, the times that were shown on the report were delayed in comparison to the times that were revealed in the TPS ICCS footage.

Starting at 10:00 p.m. on July 22, 2018, a 911 call indicated that “someone had been shot on the Danforth” at Pappas Restaurant. Following that first call, there were several other 911 calls indicating that people had been shot, people were injured, people were running, and shots were heard. The following is a summary of some of the many calls that came into the communications centre:

  • At 10:03 p.m., a caller stated that a male suspect [now known to be Mr. Hussain] was seen firing 10 shots and that he was last seen travelling westbound on Danforth Avenue; 
  • At 10:05 p.m., a caller stated that Mr. Hussain was walking westbound on the north side sidewalk of Danforth Avenue and that he was in possession of a handgun. Also at this same time, a caller indicated that a person was shot in the leg inside Alexandros Restaurant [now known to be located at 484 Danforth Avenue] and that Mr. Hussain was carrying a black coloured handgun; 
  • At 10:06 p.m., a caller indicated that Mr. Hussain was wearing black coloured clothing. Another caller advised at this time that Mr. Hussain was possibly of Indian or Arabic descent, wearing a gray coloured hat and had a bag over his shoulder;
  • At 10:11 p.m., a caller stated that Mr. Hussain was about 30 years old, skinny build, wearing black coloured clothing with a black coloured ball cap, and he was holding a handgun and stood on top of a woman and had shot her four times in the back;
  • At 10:12 p.m., an entry was made indicating “Susp is down – self-inflicted” and shortly thereafter, an entry was made stating “Danforth and Bowden, in front of the church”
  • At 10:14 p.m., an entry was made that indicated a child was in need of an ambulance at 400 Danforth Avenue [now known to be Demetres Café]; and 
  • At 10:49 p.m., an entry was made that indicated that the Emergency Task Force had cleared the body [checked Mr. Hussain for explosive devices].

Materials obtained from Police Service

Upon request the SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials and documents from TPS:
  • Crime Scene Log;
  • Event Details Report;
  • List of Involved Officers;
  • Notes of WO #1, WO #2, WO #3, WO #4, WO #5, WO #6, WO #7 and WO #8;
  • Police Vehicle #1 ICCS footage;
  • Police Vehicle #2 ICCS footage;
  • Police Vehicle #3 ICCS footage; 
  • Police Vehicle #4 ICCS footage;
  • Preliminary Witness List; 
  • TPS use of force equipment receipt; and
  • TPS Communications Recordings.

Relevant Legislation

Section 25, Criminal Code -- Protection of persons acting under authority

25 (1) Every one who is required or authorized by law to do anything in the administration or enforcement of the law
(a) as a private person,
(b) as a peace officer or public officer,
(c) in aid of a peace officer or public officer, or
(d) by virtue of his office,
is, if he acts on reasonable grounds, justified in doing what he is required or authorized to do and in using as much force as is necessary for that purpose.

25 (3) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), a person is not justified for the purposes of subsection (1) in using force that is intended or is likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm unless the person believes on reasonable grounds that it is necessary for the self-preservation of the person or the preservations of any one under that person’s protection from death or grievous bodily harm.

Analysis and Director's Decision

On Sunday, July 22, 2018, Mr. Faisal Hussain died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after he shot multiple people on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. While there are many serious questions about Mr. Hussain’s actions prior to his contact with the police, the SIU’s mandate is limited to determining whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a police officer committed a criminal offence in relation to Mr. Hussain’s death. After a thorough investigation and for the following reasons, I am satisfied that Mr. Hussain took his own life and that no TPS officer involved in the incident committed a criminal offence. Indeed, in this case there is no evidence that the responding officers’ actions were anything but commendable in the face of truly perilous circumstances.

The SIU’s investigation consisted of interviews with 15 Civilian Witnesses (CWs) and seven Witness Officers (WOs), as well as a review of surveillance video and in-car camera system (ICCS) video footage which captured much of the incident. The SIU also obtained and reviewed Mr. Hussain’s post mortem report and a firearm’s report. The witness statements were overwhelmingly consistent with each other and the video and forensic evidence, and the relevant circumstances surrounding Mr. Hussain’s death are accordingly clear.

The TPS first became aware of an active shooter in Toronto on July 22, 2018, at 10:00 p.m. when a person called 911 to report that “someone had been shot on the Danforth” at Pappas Grill. The 911 communications center was immediately flooded with other callers reporting a shooting on Danforth Avenue and that people were running or injured. One caller indicated that the shooter, Mr. Hussain, had stood on top of a woman and shot her multiple times in the back. At 10:05 p.m., another caller reported that Mr. Hussain was heading westbound on Danforth Avenue and was in possession of a black handgun.

WO #2 and WO #3 are the only responding officers known to have interacted with Mr. Hussain prior to his death. The officers were working together that night and shared a marked police cruiser. WO #3 was driving and they were near Broadview Street and Queen Street when they learned of an active shooter. The officers immediately responded and, at 10:06 p.m., they turned onto Bowden Street and drove northbound towards Danforth Avenue.

WO #2 and WO #3 were heading north on Bowden Street when they witnessed Mr. Hussain standing on the west sidewalk of Bowden Street and shooting towards 7Numbers restaurant, located at the southeast corner of Danforth Avenue and Bowden Street. WO #2 saw Mr. Hussain extend his right arm towards 7Numbers restaurant and heard two gunshots. WO #3 noticed flashes of light coming from Mr. Hussain’s handgun and heard several loud bang sounds. Both officers exited their cruiser, drew their firearms and pointed them in the direction of Mr. Hussain. Mr. Hussain turned to face WO #2 and WO #3 and, according to the officers, fired two to four shots in their direction. WO #3 told the SIU that he feared for his life so he fired once or twice at Mr. Hussain. The forensic evidence indicates that he actually discharged three rounds. [2] He was unsure whether he hit Mr. Hussain or missed. WO #2 also returned fire and moved toward the back of the cruiser to take cover. WO #2 could not recall how many times he discharged his firearm, but gave estimates ranging from two to four shots. [3] In fact, the evidence suggests he discharged his firearm once, striking the frame of the rear passenger window and causing the window to shatter.

I believe that WO #2 and WO #3 are credible and their accounts of the incident quite reliable because their statements were overwhelmingly consistent with the remainder of the evidence, including the statements of multiple civilian witnesses who witnessed or heard the exchange of gunfire. WO #2 and WO #3’s statements were also supported by the video evidence which confirmed that Mr. Hussain discharged his firearm when he encountered the police officers. 7Numbers restaurant had a surveillance camera which captured Mr. Hussain on the west sidewalk of Bowden Street, walking towards Danforth Avenue. He appeared to be walking backwards and was facing in the direction of the police officers (who were not captured on video). Mr. Hussain raised his arms and a bright flash of light caused by a firearm discharge was clearly visible. He continued walking backwards and, four seconds later, another flash of light consistent with a firearm discharge was visible. The ICCS footage from WO #2 and WO #3’s police cruiser similarly captured Mr. Hussain discharging his firearm, but from a different perspective. The footage depicted Mr. Hussain standing on the west sidewalk of Bowden Street. At 10:06:40 p.m., a bright flash of light emanated from him consistent with a muzzle flash from a firearm. Between 10:06:40 p.m. and 10:06:46 p.m., four more muzzle flashes were seen. Finally, at 10:06:48 p.m., Mr. Hussain shifted his body slightly and another muzzle flash was seen.

From the totality of this evidence, I accept that Mr. Hussain initially shot towards the people at 7Numbers restaurant before turning and shooting at WO #2 and WO #3, who almost immediately returned fire.

The ICCS footage also confirms that, after his interaction with the police, Mr. Hussain immediately ran north on Bowden Street and then west on Danforth Avenue until he disappeared from sight behind the Danforth Church, located at 60 Bowden Street at the southwest corner of Bowden Street and Danforth Avenue.

WO #3 reported over the police radio that shots had been fired. WO #7 was in the area of Danforth Avenue and Logan Avenue, helping people with injuries, when he heard WO #3’s report. He drove to Bowden Street and, at 10:12 p.m., saw Mr. Hussain’s body on the sidewalk of Danforth Avenue, just west of Bowden Street. Mr. Hussain was laying on his back near the Danforth Church and had a significant injury to the right side of his head. WO #7 approached Mr. Hussain’s body and observed a shell casing next to his head, an empty magazine on the sidewalk and a black handgun in his right hand. According to WO #7, Mr. Hussain’s ring and pinkie finger were still around the grip of the gun and WO #7 moved the firearm away from Mr. Hussain. Mr. Hussain also had a satchel around his left shoulder, which WO #7 searched. He found three more loaded magazines.

Mr. Hussain’s post mortem report concluded that Mr. Hussain died of a contact range gunshot wound to the head and brain. The entry of the bullet occurred at the right temple of the head and a “muzzle stamp” [4] was present on the inferior portion of the wound. The bullet track traversed the brain from right to left and front to back and upwards and, as a result, the “injury would have been essentially immediately incapacitating and fatal.” There were no other significant injuries found to Mr. Hussain’s body.

After a careful review of this evidence, I am satisfied that neither WO #2 nor WO #3 caused Mr. Hussain’s death. Mr. Hussain’s death was caused by a single bullet which traversed his brain and it is clear that neither officer is responsible for this wound. The post-mortem report stated that the wound would have immediately incapacitated Mr. Hussain; however, the ICCS footage clearly depicted Mr. Hussain running away from the officers after they shot at him. It would have been impossible for Mr. Hussain to run away as depicted if either officer had caused the injury to Mr. Hussain as observed in the post mortem report. Given the evidence, including the results of the post mortem examination, I instead conclude that Mr. Hussain’s died at his own hands when he decided to shoot himself in front of the Danforth Church. The bullet’s entry was at contact range and to the right temple, indicative of a self-inflicted gunshot wound as a result of suicide. There were no bullet fragments found within Mr. Hussain’s head; however, a brass cartridge casing was found on the sidewalk near his body and forensic analysis concluded that that casing came from a bullet fired by the handgun found with Mr. Hussain. [5] Finally, there is no evidence suggesting that any other person shot Mr. Hussain, nor do I believe it likely that someone could have shot Mr. Hussain at contact range given that he was armed and prepared to use his gun. I am accordingly satisfied that the only reasonable inference based on this circumstantial evidence is that Mr. Hussain shot himself.

With respect to the shots fired by WO #2 and WO #3, I am unable to form grounds to believe that either officer committed a criminal offence because their use of force fell within the scope of that permitted by law. Section 25(1) of the Criminal Code allows police officers to use force in the course of their lawful duties so long as the officer acts on reasonable grounds and the force is necessary. Section 25(3) of the Criminal Code imposes additional restrictions where the use of force is likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm. The officer must believe the force is necessary to protect himself or herself, or another person, from death or grievous bodily harm and this belief must be both subjectively held by the police officer and objectively reasonable in the circumstances (R. v. Nasogaluak, [2010] 1 S.C.R. 206). On these facts, I have no hesitation in finding that the shots fired by WO #2 and WO #3 fall within the scope of force permitted by ss. 25(1) and (3) of the Criminal Code. WO #2 and WO #3 were acting pursuant to their duty to protect life when they responded to a call indicating that there was an active shooter on Danforth Avenue. When they approached Danforth Avenue they observed Mr. Hussain firing towards people at a restaurant before turning to shoot at the officers. It is clear that both officers feared for their lives and for the lives of others, and it is similarly clear that this fear was objectively reasonable. Mr. Hussain was actively shooting at the officers, creating an immediate and significant threat, and I find that it was reasonably necessary for the police officers to discharge their firearms in an ultimately failed attempt to neutralize that threat.

In conclusion, I am simply unable to find any evidence that a police officer committed a criminal offence in relation to Mr. Hussain’s death. Instead, I believe that Mr. Hussain decided to kill himself rather than surrender to police and find WO #2 and WO #3’s use of force was entirely appropriate in the circumstances. Accordingly, no charges will issue and the file will be closed.


Date: January 7, 2019


Original signed by

Tony Loparco
Director
Special Investigations Unit

Footnotes

  • 1) An undesignated officer is an officer who has not been designated as a “witness officer” or a “subject officer”. [Back to text]
  • 2) This assumes that WO #3 was correct when he said he had 14 rounds in his magazines and one in the chamber when he started his shift. Eleven rounds remained in his magazine and one was found in his chamber when the gun was examined. His other two spare magazines had 14 rounds each. [Back to text]
  • 3) WO #2’s magazine contained 12 rounds and his gun had a bullet in the chamber. His spare magazines contained 14 rounds each. If WO #2 was correct when he said he loads all of his magazines with 14 bullets, he thus would only have discharged one round during the incident. [Back to text]
  • 4) A ‘muzzle stamp’ marks the position of the muzzle of the gun on or near Mr. Hussain at the time Mr. Hussain’s Smith and Wesson was fired. [Back to text]
  • 5) That casing matched the remaining bullets in Mr. Hussain’s Smith and Wesson. The casings from WO #2 and WO #3 were all found on Bowden Street and were nickel as opposed to brass plated [brass plating matched the bullets in the Smith & Wesson magazines], as were the remaining bullets in their magazines. [Back to text]