The detective investigating the case of a 21-year-old York University business student who was gunned down in Malvern in May says the key to solving the homicide is finding the person he was going to meet on the night he was killed.

Venojan Suthesan, a Scarborough resident and Schulich business student, was shot and killed outside Lester B. Pearson Collegiate Institute, near Tapscott Road and Washburn Way, on the night of May 27.

“There’s someone out there who knows who Venojan was going out to meet that night, and that person has to come forward,” Det. Andy Singh told reporters Wednesday.

Family members previously said Suthesan had just finished work at Pickle Barrel and was heading to the gym when he was ambushed by a suspect police believe had been waiting for him.

A suspect was seen fleeing the area southbound on Washburn Way armed with a firearm.

Police have not determined a motive in the fatal shooting but said they have not ruled out the possibility that it may be a case of mistaken identity.

Singh said Venojan was on his way to meet someone that night, and was suddenly interrupted by a suspect who shot him dead.

“It seemed like it was a pre-planned meeting – whether Venojan knew what he was getting into is hard to say — at this point I am going to say he was surprised,” Singh said.

Police described the suspect as a five-foot-ten male with dark skin, who was wearing a white or light-coloured hoodie with light-brown khaki pants.

“He knew who he was meeting with,” Singh said of the victim. “Whoever he was going to see or whoever was on that path at that moment is likely the suspect.”

He added that Venojan appeared to be walking “with purpose” to the area where he was shot.

Singh said investigators have surveillance footage from the area and have also pursued information gleaned from Venojan’s cell phone records, but they need eyewitnesses.

Police also said they are investigating what connection a vehicle that left the school parking lot just prior to the shooting may have to the suspect.

The dark-coloured car, according to police, was in the area 40 minutes prior to the deadly shooting and was circling the area.

Venojan’s older sister, Sumira, told reporters her brother was selfless and often pushed her to achieve.

“My brother was always pushing me to do better, to dream bigger,” she said.

“He was kind of man that anyone would have been lucky to have known.”

Family members say Venojan worked two jobs at a time to pay for school and support his family. Singh said friends, faculty members and everyone else who knew him are baffled by his killing.

Singh said a police command post would remain in the Malvern area for Wednesday evening, staffed with several officers who speak Tamil, the language spoken by many nearby residents.

Police say there are a number of people who likely witnessed the shooting who have not yet spoken to investigators.

“Talk to your friends, talk to your neighbours, look at what you have,” local councillor Neethan Shan said, urging the community to come together to help police identify a suspect.