Father killed in random shooting at Toronto bus stop honoured at community vigil

Community members gathered in North York Feb. 24 during a vigil held for father of four who was killed in a random shooting at a Toronto bus stop. Max Trotta / Global News

Community members gathered in North York, Ont., Saturday afternoon to pay their respects to Adu Boakye, the innocent man and father killed in a random shooting while walking by a Toronto bus stop last weekend.

Boakye, a 40-year-old man from Ghana who recently moved to Canada to support his family, was described as a loving son, husband, father and friend by vigil organizers.

“We lost a young man in our community last Saturday,” Emmanuel Duodu, president of the Ghanaian Canadian Association of Ontario, told Global News during the vigil.

Duodu explained that Boakye was on his way to run some errands when he was fatally shot.

“We’re here today to remember him and to provide some reassurance to our community that we are all in this together and support each other during difficult times,” Duodu said.

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“We are very touched by the support we are getting from coast to coast, not only from community members but from Canadians everywhere,” added Duodu.

Boakye was shot at a bus stop in the area of Jane Street and Driftwood Avenue – the same one where just a day earlier a 16-year-old boy was shot and left with life-threatening injuries.

The incidents resulted in an increased police presence in the neighbourhood as investigators worked to determine if the attacks were targeted or random.

Police said the victims were both “completely and utterly innocent, which is a big part of what has caused alarm in this community.”

Click to play video: 'Suspect wanted for two random shootings still at large, leaving people in Jane and Driftwood area on edge'
Suspect wanted for two random shootings still at large, leaving people in Jane and Driftwood area on edge

Police have said the attacks were carried out randomly by the same suspect or suspects. They said the victims didn’t know each other or the suspect, nor were they involved in gang activity or anything similar.

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According to police, the first shooting happened on Feb. 16 at around 6 p.m. Officers found a 16-year-old, who had been waiting for a bus to go to volleyball practice, had been shot in the face. The boy was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition, though he has since stabilized, police said.

The second incident, involving Boakye, happened on Feb. 17 under similar circumstances. Boakye was walking by a bus stop at the same intersection when he was shot three times – twice in the stomach and once in the head. He later died in hospital.

During the vigil, Richardson Adorsu, one of Boakye’s friends, described him as a family man who loved children and could always be counted on for good advice.

Adorsu created a GoFundMe to help pay for Boakye’s funeral and to help support his wife and four kids back in Ghana. The online fundraiser had raised more than $25,000 by Saturday afternoon.

“He’s a good man. A family man, an uncle … a friend,” said Adorsu.

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While no arrests have been made, police have identified a suspect. He is described as between the ages of 18-25, with a thin build. He was seen wearing a black coat, white hoodie, black pants, black shoes, a black face covering and possibly a white surgical mask.

Police said they also found a stolen black Acura RDX in Hamilton that was believed to be involved in both shootings.

On Friday, Toronto police said officers are searching for evidence in a green space around the Valley Park Community Centre in Stoney Creek. According to a police spokesperson, the stolen Acura was found in a nearby parking lot and the exploration of Felker’s Creek is to seek potential clues to identify the shooting suspect.

Toronto police have released a photo of the suspect believed to be involved in the two separate shootings.
Toronto police have released a photo of the suspect believed to be involved in the two separate shootings. Handout / Toronto Police Service
Suspect vehicle identified by Toronto police.
Suspect vehicle identified by Toronto police. Handout / Toronto Police Service

During Saturday’s vigil, Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow said, “We will not let this cowardly act strike fear in our hearts, because we want to make a point that we have a good community here. We have a strong community.”

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“To the killer … or killers, you think you can strike fear in the hearts of the community? Forget it… We will track you down. Our officers, our community, will track you down and lock you away. Because you cannot get out of this senseless violence.”

Click to play video: 'Toronto Police are searching an area of Stoney Creek in Hamilton'
Toronto Police are searching an area of Stoney Creek in Hamilton

— With files from Global News’ Catherine McDonald and Don Mitchell, and The Canadian Press

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