Crowds of tearful mourners gathered to remember Reese Fallon at a public visitation on Sunday, a week after she was killed in a shooting rampage in Toronto’s bustling Greektown neighbourhood.
People lined up quietly inside the east Toronto funeral home, tissues in hand, to grieve the 18-year-old who died when a gunman opened fire on pedestrians and restaurant-goers on a busy Danforth Avenue last Sunday. Ten-year-old Juliana Kozis was also killed, and 13 others were injured — some critically.
The gunman was found dead with a gunshot wound nearby after exchanging fire with police, and two concurrent investigations into the incident — one by Toronto police and the other by the province’s police watchdog — are ongoing.
At the visitation on Sunday, Fallon was remembered for her life rather than her death.
A yearbook and other high school memorabilia lay on a table in the funeral home, next to a T-shirt for Hamilton’s McMaster University, where she was set to begin studying nursing in the fall.
Photos of Fallon as a child and as a teen lined the hallway leading into the visitation room.
The quote “I think everybody should like everybody,” attributed to Andy Warhol, was printed on the back of memorial cards handed out to those in attendance.
Matthew Smith, a friend and classmate of Fallon’s who came to the visitation, said he last texted her three days before she was killed.
He spent more than an hour inside the funeral home on Sunday, and said the crowds that have shown up to see her indicate how important she was to many people.
“I feel like her legacy is so important to people right now,” he said.
“She was kind…. She loved to make new friends. You can tell by looking at her picture.”
Among the people attending Sunday’s visitation were Toronto Mayor John Tory and former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne.
A funeral, which will also be open to the public, is scheduled for Monday morning. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is among those expected to attend.
The Canadian Press