The Toronto police officer who was killed in the shooting spree on Monday is being honored as a hero by Mayor John Tory.
Const. Andrew Hong was slain outside a Tim Hortons in Mississauga by a shooter who opened fire at point-blank range, and Tory paid a visit to the Toronto police department’s main office on Friday morning to sign a book of condolences for him.
“I came both as an individual—I’m a Torontonian like everyone else—and I felt that as a human, I wanted to convey my compassion, especially to his family. This is one way we can document it, as well as to the police family, as well. Naturally, I also come as mayor,” Tory said to reporters after he had finished the book.
Hong, 48, worked for the Toronto police force for the past 22 years and is survived by his wife, two teenage children and parents.
“I indicated in the note, first and foremost, that Constable Hong was and is a hero, and then went on to say that I was here as a person to express my sympathy to his family, but was also here as mayor on behalf of the people of the City of Toronto who often can’t find their way here to express those sympathies,” Tory said.
In a detailed news conference yesterday, police said the suspect was at the coffee shop for about two hours and 15 minutes prior to the shooting, and was “looking for a police officer.”
“At this point I believe the motive was that he was a uniformed officer and he was deliberately targeted,” Peel police Det. Michael Mavity said.
After Hong’s murder, the suspect shot and carjacked another victim, who suffered life-altering injuries, and then drove to MK Auto Body Repairs in Milton.
The gunman proceeded to shoot and kill his former boss, 38-year-old Shakeel Ashraf, and wounded two others. One of those victims, a 28-year-old international exchange student, is not expected to survive, police said.
The suspect was eventually located in Hamilton and was pronounced deceased after an exchange of gunfire with police. The province’s police watchdog is investigating.
The gunman has been identified as 40-year-old Sean Petrie, of no fixed address.
Tory says he has been in contact with Hong’s family and “they’re doing as well as can be expected.”
“You can imagine, you know, you wake up one day and that morning your husband and son and father goes out to work and later that same day you find out that he’s been killed in the line of duty. It’s hard to even fathom that,” he said.
He added that police officers across the GTA are coping with the tragedy and are thankful for the condolences they’re receiving.
“I just think they’re grateful for the fact that they can feel from the people, from the officials, like myself, and from their colleagues an understanding of how traumatic this is for them to lose someone that’s part of the fabric of their organization,” he said.
Source_ The Global News