TORONTO — A 31-year-old nursing student, Danielle Kane, is one of the 15 victims of last Sunday’s mass shooting in Toronto — when a gunman opened fire outside a restaurant in the heart of Greektown.
Kane is expected to survive but may never walk again.
Danielle Kane, or “Dani,” is the life of the party – someone with so much energy, spirit and warmth, as her cousin Byron Abalos described her. Dani also is the one who advocates for other people.
That all changed last Sunday.
Kane was dining out with her boyfriend Jerry Pinksen to celebrate a birthday at 7Numbers restaurant on Danforth Avenue, when they heard shots fired.
Pinksen, who is an ER nurse himself, rushed outside to help when they heard a woman had been injured.
Little did he know, Kane followed.
According to Pinksen, Kane was shot just as she was coming outside to help.
The bullet hit her spinal cord and punctured her stomach and diaphragm.
“Currently, Danielle is stable but she’s still in critical condition. She’s still at the ICU at St. Mike’s Hospital. On Friday, she had her fourth surgery…she’s heavily sedated right now, in a lot of pain and it’s been tough. But every day she’s getting stronger and they’re hoping that sometime in the coming week, she’ll be able to talk,” said Byron Abalos.
The gunman, 29-year-old Faisal Hussain, opened fire into several restaurants and businesses on the busy Toronto street.
Hussain then exchanged gunfire with police officers before fatally shooting himself in the head, according to a police source.
Following his shooting rampage, Hussain’s family released a statement saying he suffered from mental health problems for much of his life.
Police are investigating where he might have obtained his weapon.
While investigation is underway, Toronto is mourning, many still shocked from the incident.
The #DaniStrong GoFundMe page has been receiving an outpour of support.
The crowdfunding was launched to help cover the costs of her recovery, to find new housing to accommodate her condition, and months if not years of rehabilitation and specialized care.
“People donate $5, people are donating a $1,000 and so many people are sharing her story and leaving messages of support and that means so much to us, our family, her partner, it’s really giving us the strength and a purpose to keep going and making sure that we can give Danielle the fullest life possible and that she returns to her old self…”
Abalos says Dani is the kind of person who wouldn’t scapegoat an entire community for the fault of one person. He says that people like Hussain are exactly that kind of people that Dani would love to work with and help.
Reese Fallon, 18, of Toronto, and Julianna Kozis, 10, of Markham both died.
13 others were wounded.