Man shoots at relatives of young homicide victim, hours before funeral
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Friday, October 13, 2017 5:46AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 13, 2017 4:52PM EDT
Police are looking into a possible connection between a shooting in the city’s east end early Friday morning and the murder of 16-year-old Zakariye Ali last weekend, CP24 has learned.
A group of about seven adults was walking along a pathway connecting a Toronto community Housing townhouse complex with a parking lot near Chester le Blvd. and Morecambe Gate at around 1:20 a.m. when a male suspect approached them.
Police say the suspect fired approximately five shots at the victims but did not hit any of them. He then fled to a waiting vehicle. That vehicle, described as a white Mazda or Nissan, was last seen travelling southbound on Victoria Park Avenue.
CP24 has learned that all seven people targeted in the shooting were either friends or relatives of Ali and had just left a unit at the townhouse complex where they were discussing funeral arrangements for the boy, who was laid to rest Friday afternoon.
One of the family members who was among those targeted early Friday morning told CP24 that the gunman was about five metres away when he produced a handgun and opened fire. The relative said that some members of the group sustained cuts and bruises from diving for cover but were otherwise unharmed.
Meanwhile, another relative described a harrowing encounter with the suspect as he arrived at Ali’s funeral. He told CP24 that he feels lucky to be alive.
“The guy came from in front of us,” the man, who prefers not to be identified, said. “We saw him but at the beginning we were thinking just another guy walking you know. Suddenly he started shooting, shooting. He shot five, six shots and then he ran back. We were all frozen. Some of us fell down, some ran. I don’t know. When I keep thinking about it now, we were lucky.”
Ali was fatally shot in the parking lot of Kingsview Village Junior School in the Dixon Road and Islington Avenue area on Oct. 8.
An 18-year-old man and a 19-year-old man that were with Ali were also shot but have since been released from hospital.
“He was a good guy and had much to live for,” a community member attending Ali’s funeral on Friday told CP24. “Every day we are losing people from our community and we just can’t help it. Stuff like this always happens and it hurts our community more than it hurts any other community. Every time we get a tragedy like this you see mothers crying.”
Ali will be buried after a funeral service at the Khalid Bin Al-Walid Mosque in Etobicoke this afternoon.
A heavy police presence could be seen outside the mosque prior to the start of the service. The police presence is as the request of Ali’s family.