‘He was going to be a good man’: Dad of 12-year-old boy killed by stray bullet in North York
Published Monday, December 21, 2020 11:30PM EST
The father of a 12-year-old boy killed by a stray bullet in North York last month said he was raising his son to be a good man and he is struggling to understand why he is now gone.
“I wake up in the morning with a pain. It comes with me for the whole day,” Sebastian Andreatta told CTV News Toronto in an interview from his home in Brampton Monday. “I can barely talk to anybody.”
Andreatta’s 12-year-old son lived with him, but was visiting his mother in the Jane and Finch area on Nov. 7.
Dante Andreatta Marroquin and his mother were out grocery shopping when he was fatally struck in the neck by a stray bullet.
According to Toronto police, at least 30 rounds were fired in the shooting, which may have been gang-related.
Dante died in hospital on Nov. 11.
Andreatta said he’s returned to the scene of his son’s death, but still can’t understand how he was caught in the gunfire.
“I will never understand why, even how. Because if you go there, I’ve been there many times .... you see trees, the fence, so far away, how did it happen, sometimes I don’t understand.”
He said he was crushed when he learned of his son’s death and is still in shock.
“It was really, really hard. It’s something that a father, or a parent shouldn’t go through,” he said.
Andreatta said Dante was a loving child who would jump on him with hugs and kisses.
“He was going to be a good man. Because he was raised with love,” Andreatta said. “He was becoming a teenager – a kind, healthy boy, happy, active.
“He loved to play outside. He had his video games like every kid, but ... he loved sports, soccer, he wanted to become a soccer player.”
As an organ donor, Dante saved nine other people.
“I think it was an act of love,” Andreatta said. “We wanted him to live and he was healthy so we decided the best was to donate his organs. We thought it was the right thing to do actually. Deep inside me I knew I wasn’t going to have my kid back.”
He said he wants those responsible for his son’s death put away so they can’t hurt anybody else.
“They destroy lives, they destroy families. They shouldn’t be on the street,” he said.
Three people have been arrested in the case so far.
Two suspects – 24-year-old Rashawn Chambers of Toronto and 25-year-old Jahwayne Smart of no fixed address – were arrested in connection with the case on Nov 9. A third suspect – 27-year-old Cjay Hobbs – was arrested in Halifax on Nov. 12. All three have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Dante’s death.
The charges have not yet been tested in court.
In addition to his parents, Dante is survived by two sisters and his grandparents. He would have turned 13 a week ago on Dec. 14.
- With files from CTV News Toronto’s Beth Macdonell