‘I still can’t process’: Close friend speaks about teen killed outside Halifax mall

Click to play video: 'Hundreds mourn 16-year-old Halifax homicide victim'
Hundreds mourn 16-year-old Halifax homicide victim
Hundreds of people gathered at a Halifax-area mosque to mourn the death of a 16-year-old the police have identified as the victim of a homicide. Members of the Muslim community are grappling with grief and anger, as they push for answers. Amber Fryday reports – Apr 24, 2024

Dozens of friends and family of Ahmad Al Marrach gathered in prayer at Peace and Friendship Park on Sunday afternoon as the community held a vigil in remembrance of the 16-year-old who was killed outside the Halifax Shopping Centre earlier this week.

On Monday evening, officers responded to a report of an injured person in the mall’s parking lot at about 5:05 p.m. The injured male youth, who was later identified as 16-year-old Al Marrach, was taken to hospital where he later died.

Standing in front of a crowd of about 50 people on Sunday afternoon, Nooman Hussain shared stories from his close friendship with Al Marrach.

“I still can’t process any of this. It feels like it’s not real,” Hussain shared with the crowd, describing Al Marrach as his best friend. “Ahmad taught me valuable things and was a valuable member of this community.”

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Hussain said Al Marrach was a helpful, generous person who was always there for him whenever he needed anything.

He said the two would frequently visit a nearby Canada Games Centre and had plans of visiting the sporting facility on Monday.

“We would always hangout. He’d always come to my house and wake me up for school,” he said.

A prayer was held for Al Marrach after words were shared by those closest to him. Mitchell Bailey

Rana Zaman, a community advocate who got to know Al Marrach’s family in the days after his death, shared a message on behalf of the mother and father who were in attendance to the grieving crowd.

“Though his time with us was brief, his love and positive impact will forever resonate with the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to know him,” Zaman said, reading a letter of stories that were shared by Al Marrach’s family.

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“These are the words from the family … he was known for his affectionate nature and gentle demeanour. His daily routine even included feeding the birds and pigeons outside. He really had so much love for all living creatures.”

Al Marrach was said to always be helping his mother around the house and had plans of joining a lacrosse team next month.

“Ahmad’s calm demeanour and aversion to trouble left a lasting impression on those around him,” Zaman read to the crowd.

“Please think of his family. Their main goal … they want justice for Ahmad. They want to make sure this tragedy doesn’t befall on another family. It’s senseless violence. Let’s not let Ahmad’s death be forgotten.”

On Thursday, two 14-year-olds were charged with second-degree murder in relation to the homicide. The two suspects made a brief court appearance on the following day, where a bail hearing was set for May 13.

During Friday’s court appearance, Crown prosecutor Terry Nickerson asked that the accused teens be sentenced as adults if they are found guilty.

In the meantime, the pair remain on remand.

A GoFundMe set up for Al Marrach’s family had raised more than $60,000 as of Sunday.

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Click to play video: 'Two youth accused in Halifax homicide appear in court'
Two youth accused in Halifax homicide appear in court

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