TORONTO — The girlfriend of a man who killed two people when he opened fire at Toronto’s Eaton Centre says he told her he got himself into “some trouble” and was “going away for a really long time.”
LaChelle John told Christopher Husbands’s trial that her boyfriend made those comments to her just before he turned himself in to police two days after the shooting at the downtown mall in June 2012.
Husbands, 25, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first degree murder and has denied that he went to the mall with the intention of killing anyone.
The trial has heard that his lawyer plans to argue that Husbands was indeed responsible for the deaths and injuries that resulted from the shooting but that it was a “chance encounter” with a group of five men that prompted him to open fire.
John told the court Husbands seemed fine in the hours leading up the shooting.
She says she was ordering sushi at the mall’s crowded food court as Husbands was standing off to the side, holding bags containing purchases they had just made, when she heard him yell the word “what.”
She says she turned around and saw that Husbands appeared to be talking to a group of people, so she turned back to finish her transaction when she heard “a bunch of commotion” behind her.
John says she turned around again, saw people running everywhere and noticed that Husbands was nowhere to be seen so she turned back to the sushi counter, retrieved the debit card she had been using to pay for her purchase, picked up the bags Husbands had dropped and left the mall.
John says she and Husbands didn’t discuss the events at the mall when she saw him very briefly at her home later that day.
She says she got a call from an unknown number the following day which turned out to be Husbands.
“He said ’ I got myself into some trouble, I’m going to go get myself a lawyer and I suggest you do the same,”’ she told court.
In the early hours of the following day, John said she got another call from Husbands.
“He basically said that he’s with his lawyer and he’s going to turn himself in,” she recounted, adding that she went to meet Husbands, who was in a car with his lawyer behind a downtown police station.
“He said ’I got myself into some trouble and I’m going away for a really long time.”’