A man accused in a deadly shooting at Toronto’s Eaton Centre may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, but prosecutors say that doesn’t mean he had no control over his actions.
Crown lawyers say the psychiatric experts who assessed Christopher Husbands were split on whether he could have been in a disassociative state when he opened fire at the mall’s food court on June 2, 2012.
In their closing submissions today, they said one of the doctors noted that the act of aiming and firing a gun is more complex than what you would expect from someone experiencing disassociation.
Defence lawyers told the court Friday that Husbands was in a disassociative state as a result of his PTSD, which was triggered by an encounter with the men who had brutally beaten and stabbed him months earlier.
Husbands has pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, five counts of aggravated assault, one count each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and reckless discharge of a firearm.
Two men were killed in the shooting and six others – including a 13-year-old boy who was shot in the head and survived, and a pregnant woman who was trampled in the ensuing stampede – were injured.
Prosecutors have said Ahmed Hassan, 24, died on the floor of the food court while Nixon Nirmalendran, 22, died in hospital nine days later due to complications from a bullet wound.
Jurors have heard Husbands faced a previous trial, but were not told the outcome or the reason for a second trial.