Police search for details of incident that took place in Brampton on Wednesday night, as tributes poured in for an 18-year-old man shot dead in the city
Police have identified the 18-year-old man shot dead in east Toronto on Wednesday night.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is leading the investigation into the shooting that occurred in Brampton.
On Thursday afternoon, the police service confirmed that the man had been identified as Dhurray Navaratnam, an Oakville native who moved to Toronto in 2010.
“Initial communications indicate that this was not a random act of violence,” Toronto police spokesman Sgt. Peter Leon said in a statement on Thursday.
Navaratnam’s death comes amid a spike in violence in Toronto’s west end and the deaths of four men in recent weeks, two of whom were stabbed to death.
Police want to hear from anyone who was in the area of Holliswood Park around 9pm on Wednesday night. However, it is believed Navaratnam was also in the area and was likely walking along Gilles Street.
“I feel really bad for his mom, he was so young and he had a future,” a woman who gave her name as Ayanna told the Toronto Star.
“In a way, he had it taken away from him, his mom is crying and his uncle crying. It’s really heartbreaking.”
Ayanna told the newspaper she saw the victim’s mother in the hospital, weeping and asking why her son was shot.
“It was a really senseless crime,” she said.
The Toronto school board, the Ontario government and the Toronto police chief superintendent Rod McCormack have ordered that all schools remain open on Thursday to help the victims of the violence understand what happened.
“Children are at risk,” said Ontario’s education minister, Lisa Thompson. “We need to be comforting the children and holding them up as best we can.”
Mourners lay flowers in front of the Home Depot where Ali and his two friends were killed in the early hours of Thursday morning. Photograph: Chris Young/Reuters
At a vigil, the mother of Ali carried a picture of her son and said she could not understand why anyone would do this to him.
“I don’t understand why this happened, I just don’t understand,” Farah Najeemah said, according to the Globe and Mail. “He was such a sweet boy, he used to be on the dance floor dancing like with everyone, he was always there to help people.”
Police believe both gunmen left the park immediately after the shooting and ran in different directions.
Authorities have not yet released descriptions of any suspects.
“This area is known to have significant gang activity,” McCormack said. “We do know that a person of interest has been arrested in relation to the investigation and some of the information that we have come from that individual.”
Police believe about eight people attended the party and say some of them have been cooperative with the investigation.
For the two men killed at the Home Depot, the bar shooting deaths have come on the heels of a visit from mourners and strangers who stepped out of their own homes to mourn the loss of brothers Nadir Saifi and Fahim Aleem.
They visited the apartments in Toronto’s west end to leave the willow plants and candles.
The heavy loss of youth is hard on families.
At a press conference on Wednesday night, Toronto police officers, bereaved by the news of their colleagues’ sudden deaths, pleaded with the public to get in touch with them, no matter how much time had passed.