Ashley Robinson saw Faisal Hussain almost every day when she walked her dog on the winding sidewalk near her high-rise apartment building.
“He always was smiling,” she said, adding that they lived in the same building in Thorncliffe Park, a 21-story gray building that’s home to immigrants and Canadians alike.
The tall man from floor seven made a point to pet Robinson’s low-slung lab-heeler mix named Dax and would often remark that he was a good dog. “A lot of people here are afraid of my dog, but he wasn’t.”
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Robinson didn’t know Hussain’s name until Monday, when she saw video of him on the news. His lanky body was clad in black. His arm, calmly, meticulously raised a handgun and people as they strolled in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood.
“I teared up when I saw that video,” said Robinson.
A 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman were killed. Thirteen other people were injured. Hussain was also shot, but it’s unclear whether it was from his own gun or a bullet from police.
Authorities say they are still investigating Hussain’s motive nearly 24 hours after the shooting. According to The Toronto Sun, Hussain’s links to at least one pro-ISIS website has surfaced.
While many in the apartment complex reported seeing the 29-year-old happy and smiling, that outward cheer hid a dark secret.
“Our son had severe mental health challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life,” his family said in a statement Monday.
Hussain, 29, lived with his parents in the building. Neighbors said the family was Pakistani. However, Hussain was born in Canada, said people who knew the family.
Aamir Sukhera said Hussain was a close family friend. He claims the dead suspect who lived with his parents in a low-income apartment in the east end of the city. Residents of the neighborhood said Hussain’s family has suffered other tragedies in recent years, including the death of Hussain’s sister from a car crash.
Still, friends said he was always outwardly cheerful.
“He had a million-dollar smile. He was very upbeat and happy whenever I saw him,” Sukhera said, adding that Hussain “seemed fine.”
But his family said in the statement that they’d sought treatment.
“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 Associated Press contributed to this article.