Police presence

Police stand guard in front of the Toronto Eaton Centre after the shootings. (Mark Blinch/Reuters) (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Christopher Husbands, the suspect in the slayings of two men at the Eaton Centre in June 2012, was under house arrest at the time of the shootings and should have been under closer supervision, the families of the dead men claim in three multimillion-dollar civil lawsuits.

The families of Ahmed Hassan, 24, and Nixon Nirmalendran, 22, who were shot in the food court of Toronto's downtown mall, are suing Husbands, the two people who posted his bail, the owners and operators of the Eaton Centre, the province and the police boards in Toronto and Hamilton for failing to prevent the deaths.

The lawsuits allege Husbands, who was 23 at the time of the shootings, should have been under closer supervision after committing several offences in both Toronto and Hamilton.

In March 2010, Husbands was charged in Hamilton with nine gun-related offences, as well as failing to meet bail conditions, obstructing a police officer and possession of marijuana, according to the lawsuits. Husbands was released on bail in May 2010 with two sureties, according to the suits.

In November 2010, Husbands was charged in Toronto with sexual assault and was granted bail, according to the lawsuits.

In April 2012, Husbands was assaulted by "unknown persons" whom he believed included Hassan and Nirmalendran, according to the suits.

When Husbands appeared in Hamilton court in April 2012, the Crown withdrew gun charges but he was convicted of two counts of breaching bail, obstructing a police officer and marijuana possession, according to the lawsuits.

The suits allege that the police and courts didn’t properly supervise Husbands when he was on bail and under house arrest, "when they knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the failure to do so could cause harm to the public."

The suits call Husbands' two sureties, who posted $2,000 each and promised to ensure he remained on house arrest, "incompetent."

None of the allegations contained in three statements of claim have been proven in court.