For the family of Tyrus Ayerst, his murder is another painful tragedy that’s struck the family.
“We shouldn’t be having to go through this again,” his aunt, Lisa Sauro paused. “It’s a tragedy, it should have never happened.”
Ayerst was visiting a friend’s house when two men broke in, robbed and murdered him.
He was 21-years-old.
“He was the greatest kid, he wouldn’t hurt anyone, and he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” his 88-year-old great-grandmother Bernice Sauro said.
“It’s just eating me away, and everybody else here that loves Ty. I just don’t understand why someone would’ve taken Ty’s life,” she continued.
Ayerst’s death is the second time the family has been victim of a violent assault in the past five years and the second death they’ve been through in less than a year.
“The past five years our family has endured, my brother’s son Kyle was stabbed in Stouffville, ON, and survived, but last year my sister, her son Brian passed away in Toronto. So a year ago we lost Brian, and now she lost her grandson,” Lisa said.
A vigil was held in Moose Jaw Tuesday evening, outside the home where he was killed.
The family says they weren’t able to see Ayerst after he died, his body was too disfigured; the vigil was a chance for them to get some closure.
“We weren’t able to see Tyrus because of the circumstances, we didn’t get that closure, his mother didn’t get that closure, his sisters didn’t get that closure and that’s hard for them.”
A brother to two sisters, a son, a grandson and a nephew; Ayerst loved his family.
“He’s very affectionate, thoughtful, good heart and a beautiful smile,” Lisa added.
The driveway where the vigil was held was crowded with dozens of people carrying candles, kneeling in front of a small collection of pictures.
In one, he stood beside a girl holding a young boy, five-year-old Carson, Ayerst’s arm around them both.
“He had a girl, that he loved, and she had a little boy – that was his world,” Sandy smiled.
It wasn’t the goodbye that they wanted, but the chance to grieve – surrounded by friends and family – was welcomed.
“It’s showing how much he meant to other people as well as his family. We know he meant the world to us, but to see how many other people’s lives he touched – at 21 – is remarkable,” Lisa said proudly.
Two men are charged with 2nd-degree murder, as well as breaking and entering, robbery, and multiple firearms offences in relation to Ayerst’s death; they’re currently before the courts in Moose Jaw.