Danielle Kane and her boyfriend Jerry Pinksen are shown in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Jerry Pinksen

Victim in Toronto shooting was trying to help wounded

Nursing student Danielle Kane, 31, was shot in the spine while trying to help other victims in attack

A nursing student who took a bullet to the spine while rushing to help a wounded victim of the Toronto Greektown shooting is gradually coming out of a medically induced coma, but the full extent of her injuries is not yet known, her boyfriend said Tuesday.

Danielle Kane, 31, was shot as she and her partner, nurse Jerry Pinksen, rushed out of a Danforth Avenue restaurant on July 22, hoping to put their life-saving training to use.

“Doctors said that worst-case scenario, she’s in a wheelchair with the use of her arms and torso, and best-case scenario she’s going to be walking with an aid or a walker of some sort,” said Pinksen, 35, who has been with Kane for nearly two years.

“I’ve been through some emotional distress but Danielle right now is suffering from potentially a lifelong deficit, so I want to make sure that people recognize how selfless she was, trying to race out there and help someone, not knowing what we were going to meet outside the door.”

Kane, who studies nursing at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, had immediately wanted to help, Pinksen said.

“Those compassionate, selfless tendencies, they’re why we fell in love, and that’s why we’re together right now.”

The shooting left 10-year-old Julianna Kozis and 18-year-old Reese Fallon dead, and 13 others injured.

READ MORE: Gunman dead in Toronto shooting

READ MORE: Video – Mourners bid goodbye to victims in Toronto shooting

Shooter Faisal Hussain, 29, who walked down the street spraying bullets into shops and restaurants, was found dead steps away from where Kane and Pinksen had been dining. Hussain’s parents later released a statement saying their son had suffered from “severe mental health challenges” and struggled with psychosis and depression.

Kane and Pinksen were celebrating a friend’s birthday on a restaurant patio that Sunday evening when they heard 10 or 12 shots ring out. Servers called them back into the building for safety, but when a woman ran in saying she had just seen someone get shot outside the restaurant, Pinksen said he and Kane knew they had to act.

“I just had this overwhelming feeling that I have the training, I have the knowledge, I can help this victim,” said Pinksen, who works at Michael Garron Hospital, not far from the site of the shooting.

Pinksen said he left the restaurant through a side door, thinking it would be safe.

“I looked across the street and I made eye contact with the shooter,” he said. “I kept walking, he was so calm I didn’t even think about it. Then I heard a clicking sound and I looked back again and that’s when he raised his hands very quickly and opened fire.”

Pinksen said he ducked out of the way, but heard a scream behind him, followed by his friend saying Kane had been shot. He said he found his girlfriend lying by the restaurant and began performing first aid.

A bullet had entered the left side of Kane’s chest, passed through her stomach and ricocheted off her spine before exiting through the right side of her chest, Pinksen said.

“(Doctors said) she had quite extensive internal damage with a spinal cord injury,” he said. “We won’t know exactly what the severity is until she starts her rehabilitation and recovery.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Councillor criticizes board overseeing wastewater treatment project

Coun. Judy Brownoff accuses project board of ignoring public input

Saanich council clears path for new daycare facility

Creation of subdivision allows funding agreement for 49 new daycare spaces

Winter winds to taper off for Christmas Day

Break of active stormy weather predicted for Greater Victoria

Mackenzie Interchange pump failure sends contaminated water into Colquitz River

Sediment release in salmon-bearing river a serious threat to aquatic life, says local activist

WATCH: Booze, weed both have fatal consequences

Video shows how easily impairment affects driving

Santa visits some of Victoria General Hospital’s littlest patients

Santa flew in to the hospital via air ambulance helicopter

READER POLL: Do you have turkey or ham for Christmas dinner?

What are you having for Christmas dinner? Canadians gobbled up 3.3 million… Continue reading

Canadian detained in China, not clear if related to two other detentions

Reports suggest the person is not a diplomat or entrepreneur doing business in China.

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 18, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Trudeau sees 2019 election as choice between positive Liberals, divisive Tories

Trudeau is drawing much the same battle lines that propelled the Liberals to a come-from-behind victory in 2015

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla, Highway 3

Make sure to equip winter tires if travelling

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

Bear cubs try to take Vancouver Island woman’s Christmas cookies

Incident happened in the early-morning hours today, Dec. 18, in Nanaimo

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

Most Read