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

Fraser Valley fire departments form ‘strike teams’ to combat wildfires

Boston Bar, Chilliwack River Valley and Popkum departments form strike teams to fight wildfires

Sometimes it’s okay to simply try

I feel like a success even though I failed at donating blood

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

RCMP nab prolific car thief in Agassiz after month-long search

A province-wide warrant was issued for Brian Robert Stephan in June for a litany of offences

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

Island swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Most Read