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Police: Detained suspect in Toronto mall shooting was under house arrest

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:27 PM EDT, Mon June 4, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Christopher Husbands is charged with murder and 6 counts of attempted murder
  • Authorities say Husbands opened fire in a busy Toronto mall, killing 1 and wounding 6
  • He was supposed to be under house arrest at the time of the shooting, police add
  • Two of his alleged victims, including a 13-year-old boy, are still hospitalized

(CNN) -- A 23-year-old man was supposed to be under house arrest when police say he opened fire this weekend inside a busy Toronto shopping mall, killing one and leading to injuries to seven others.

The suspect, Christopher Husbands, is now in custody after surrendering early Monday, police said.

The Toronto resident was accompanied by legal counsel when he turned himself in around 2:20 a.m. Monday at a police station in the city, Detective Sgt. Brian Borg told reporters.

He faces one count of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder, according to police. Husbands appeared around 3:30 p.m. in a Toronto courtroom, where he was formally charged, CNN affiliate CTV reported.

"I hope that this arrest brings some sense of relief and assurance that the person I believe responsible has been apprehended, and that this person will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," said Borg, the lead investigator in the case.

The detective described Husbands as a "charged individual (who) was on house arrest conditions, not to be outside his residence" when he was out with people -- including Ahmed Hassan, the 24-year-old man police say he shot dead -- on Saturday at the Eaton Centre mall in downtown Toronto.

Gunfire started around 6:25 p.m., as people were eating dinner in the mall's crowded food court. Seven people including Hassan were shot, while a pregnant woman was "stomped on" in the resulting frenzy, said Borg.

Police believe Husbands fired all the shots and, although they continue to request information from the public, police said they are not looking for any other suspects.

"There was one shooter, one gun, and unfortunately that gun inflicted a substantial amount of damage," Borg said.

Two of the shooting victims remain in area hospitals. They include a 23-year-old in critical condition after suffering "multiple gunshot injuries to his neck and chest," Borg said. A 13-year-old boy is in serious but stable condition as he improves after being shot in the head, Borg said.

"Both he and his family are doing well, given all that they have endured," Borg said Monday.

Acting Deputy Chief Jeff McGuire on Monday said many more people at the mall were affected, directly or indirectly, beside those shot.

"Let us not forget the toll that this has taken on so many innocent people who were present that day -- minding their own business, shopping, spending time in public space with their family and friends -- when the messy lives of others came along and destroyed their day," McGuire said.

Husbands and some shooting victims were members of the same gang, though Borg indicated he doesn't consider this an offshoot of gang violence.

"I don't believe this was a gang-motivated homicide. I believe there were personal aspects involved," he said, while declining to give any hint as to the shooter's motive.

City and police officials said the shooting, Toronto's 21st homicide this year, does not indicate the city is unsafe. McGuire alluded to statistics that he said showed "the safety of the city has improved" and the number of shootings has decreased.

"Crime is going down every year in the city," Mayor Rob Ford said Monday. "It's an isolated incident, and let's just continue living our lives."

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