Mother of streetcar shooting victim says son was ‘gentle, polite’
WATCH: The mother of Sammy Yatim speaks to Global News reporter Lama Nicolas.
TORONTO – Sammy Yatim was a friendly, polite, gentle and shy teenager who was in good spirits Friday afternoon, his mother Sahar Bahadi said in an interview with Global News Monday.
“No use of anger, no use of anything, no feeling, just sadness. I’m very sad,” she said.
But hours after last speaking to his mother Friday, Yatim was killed during a stand-off with Toronto police while aboard the 505 streetcar near Trinity Bellwoods Park.
Bahadi lives in Syria and was planning on flying to Canada Monday to help her son study for college. She came early after hearing about her son’s death and spoke with Global News reporter Lama Nicolas after inviting her into her Toronto home.
She last spoke with Yatim on Friday, the day he was killed, and they made plans to see each other.
But just after midnight on Friday, Yatim was on the 505 streetcar when he allegedly pulled a knife and ordered everyone off. Police were called and he was shot multiple times after appearing to disobey commands to drop his weapon.
His mother said Yatim liked to collect Swiss Army knives and was likely holding it on the streetcar. Police have not confirmed what type of knife he was holding.
A video of the incident was captured by several witnesses and uploaded to YouTube.
Bahadi has seen the video.
“The thing I care that, they shoot my kid, my son and I didn’t know why. I watched the video, he was standing with a knife, not with a [gun] but with a knife and I felt that he was very afraid, I felt it. I felt that he was very afraid.”
Watch: Mother of Sammy Yatim shares her grief with Global News. Lama Nicolas reports.
Yatim was sent to Canada four years ago, Bahadi said, to keep him safe from the escalating conflict in Syria. She said she wanted a better education and safe environment for her son.
He graduated from Brebeuf College School, an all-boys catholic school near Bayview Avenue and Steeles Avenue in June.
A friend and former classmate told Global News Monday that Yatim was a “small, kind-hearted” teen.
“All in all, it’s just a really surreal event that happened,” Remy Artinian said. “An 18-year-old kid. Hasn’t even lived his life yet.”
-With files from Lama Nicolas
© Shaw Media, 2013