Wednesday, 27 April 2022 08:57

Police Bravery Recognized During the Danforth Shooting

The Broadview Danforth Business Improvement Area (BIA) congratulates Toronto Police Services Constable Hongfie Zhou and Constable Volodymyr Zvezdonkin on receiving Ontario Medals of Police Bravery for their heroic actions on July 22, 2018, the night of the devastating Danforth shootings.

The medals were presented to Constable Zhou and Constable Zvezdonkin at a virtual Investiture Ceremony held on Friday, April 22, 2022 and presided by Her Honour, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and the Hon. Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General of Ontario.

These medals are the province’s highest honour in recognition of police officers whose actions demonstrate outstanding courage and bravery that went above and beyond the call.

On Sunday, July 22, 2018, the peace of a hot Toronto summer evening was shattered when a lone gunman began a mass shooting along Danforth Avenue. Tragically, a 10-year-old girl and 18-year-old young woman were killed, while others suffered severe and life-altering injuries.

When Constables Zhou and Zvezdonkin tried to approach the gunman, he opened fire on them. The officers took cover behind their cruiser where they continued to engage the assailant. The gunman would take his own life.

Reading out the citation, Solicitor General Jones said, “the impact of these officers’ decisive actions in a time of chaos cannot be overstated. They put themselves directly in harm’s way to engage a violent, active threat and did everything in their power to protect civilian lives.”

Broadview Danforth is home to 355 various businesses. “That was a horrible night for the Broadview Danforth community and for the City of Toronto,” Albert Stortchak, the BIA Chair said. “The quick actions of Constables Zhou and Zvezdonkin brought the terror to a close before the gunman could destroy any more lives. They are worthy of this prestigious medal, and we can’t thank them enough for what they did that night.”

"This was a tragedy that impacted our community deeply. I'd like to extend my sincere thanks to Constable Zhou and Constable Zvezdonkin for their actions and bravery, and congratulate them on receiving these medals. I'd also like to thank all of the first responders who helped during that awful night and protected our Danforth neighbourhood."

- Councillor Paula Fletcher, Ward 14 (Toronto-Danforth)

Constables Zhou and Zvezdonkin were two of 43 heroic first responders, including firefighters, who were honoured with bravery medals.


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