Mayor Tory signs book of condolences for Toronto officer killed in shooting spree

By Michael Ranger and Lucas Casaletto

Mayor John Tory has signed one of the books of condolences set up for the Toronto Police officer killed in a GTA shooting rampage earlier this week.

Tory says the city mourns with the police force and Const. Andrew Hong’s family.

“I hope his family can take some solace, though it hard to take solace in a time like this, in the extraordinary respect and affection that has been shown for officer Hong,” said Tory. “By his colleague and by others.”

Toronto Police Service (TPS) confirmed Thursday that a book of condolences would be made available to the public to sign at Traffic Services on Hanna Avenue in Liberty Village from between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. starting Thursday to Tuesday, Sept. 20.

Those interested in signing can also visit Toronto police headquarters at College Street on Thursday and Friday between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., this weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 19 to Tuesday, Sept. 20, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

TPS has since confirmed that a funeral service will be held at 12 p.m. on Wednesday at the Toronto Congress Centre. TPS says the public can observe the funeral procession as it travels from the Kane-Jarrett Funeral Home (8088 Yonge Street).

The funeral service is not open to the public, TPS says, but will include other police services and emergency service personnel.

Private visitations for Const. Hong are taking place for family, friends and colleagues in the days prior.

Toronto police worked closely with Const. Hong’s family regarding their wishes for the funeral service. Authorities thanked the public for the ongoing support of the family, and Const. Hong.

The office of the Premier of Ontario says Doug Ford will attend the service for Const. Andrew Hong on Sep. 21.

“Premier Ford will no longer be attending the International Plowing March,” reads a statement from the premier’s office.

andrew hong

A memorial set up for slain Toronto police officer Andrew Hong. Hong was killed while on-duty during a shooting rampage that began in Mississauga on Sep. 12, 2022. CITYNEWS/Bryan Carey

Hong was shot and killed in what police have described as an ambush attack at a Tim Horton’s. The 48-year-old was in Mississauga for a training session and was on his lunch break when he was shot at close range.

In an update on Thursday morning, police said he was targeted because he was a police officer. Investigators believe the suspect deliberately targeted Hong to try and disarm him, they believe he was waiting in the restaurant for someone in uniform to come in for more than two hours.

Hong was a 22-year veteran of the service and is survived by his wife and two children.

In a statement, Hong’s family said his absence has ” left a gaping hole in the hearts of our family, the police family, and everyone who knew and loved Andrew.”

“We are grateful for the outpouring of support. Andrew was magnetic. He was a man of steel on the outside, with a warm teddy bear personality on the inside. His personality was larger than life,” read their statement.

“He loved his Police family and was so proud to be a member of the Toronto Police Service, and especially loved being a part of the Motor Unit.”

Hong’s daughter shared an emotional and touching written tribute to her father on social media.

“Dad, I don’t even know where to begin. There are so many things I wish I could share with you right now. You held our family together. You taught me how to drive, built my pc with me, taught me how to fish, took me to get ice cream every time we ran errands, and were my biggest fan,” she wrote.

Another person suffered life-altering injuries at the same location where Hong was shot. The spree continued less than an hour later in Halton Region, where three people were shot at an auto body shop in Milton, with one person dying. The other two victims are in critical and serious condition in hospital.

On Wednesday, CityNews obtained court documents indicating the suspect, 40-year-old Sean Petrie, had a history of robbery, drug trafficking and weapon possession.

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