Over the weekend, there was a shooting in the food court at the Eaton Centre on Yonge Street in downtown Toronto. One man was killed and six others were wounded including a 13-year old boy. The suspect, Christopher Husbands, turned himself into police and has been charged with murder and five counts of attempted murder. Husbands had actually been under house arrest for a separate offense. Fat lot of good that did.
A spokesman for the Toronto Police says the alleged shooter and the victim were members of the same gang but say the shooting isn’t gang related.
Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie was at the Eaton Centre at the time of the shooting with a friend but both exited the mall safely.
This isn’t the first time there’s been violence like this in downtown Toronto. On Boxing Day in 2005 there was a shooting a few blocks north of the Eaton Centre which resulted in the death of a 15-year-old girl while six others were wounded. Four men were convicted on various charges of manslaughter and second degree murder. Still, shootings like this are rare enough to warrant comment from Prime Minister Harper. On a personal note, both of my brothers live in Toronto so anytime something like this happens, my heart skips a beat. Of course, I’ve been to the Eaton Centre during my many visits to Toronto over the years. My favorite part of the Eaton Centre is the very food court where the shooting took place. When I think of the Eaton Centre food court I think of A & W hamburgers and root beer.
Now I will have to think of something else altogether.
UPDATE: Professor Mondo makes some salient comments on this piece and does so in the context of Lawrence Block’s novel Eight Million Ways to Die:
Goldstein concludes his post by stating that because of his frequent visits to the city and the Eaton Centre’s food court, he had always associated the place with root beer and burgers (clearly a man after my own heart), but that now he “will have to think of something else altogether.” I understand this, but at the same time a part of me recognizes that although there may be no safe places, and that every city offers eight million ways to die, the most common dangers come not from the places, but from the people around us, the people we pass, and who pass us (Emphasis mine). Larry is right – the world is a dangerous place. But too often, we are the ones who make it so.
It’s an eloquent way of saying, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”