Family, friends and neighbours gathered to remember 17-year-old Jonathan Davis after he was killed during a shooting at a Mississauga apartment complex.
Hundreds attended the vigil at the Malton Community Centre Friday evening.
Davis was a Grade 12 student at Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School. In the days since his death, family and friends have described him as smart, noting he made the honour roll, and passionate about electronics and fixing things. Davis was also remembered as a devoted older brother to two sisters and a supportive son.
Linton Davis, who has been dealing with vision loss, said Jonathan was his “right hand” in terms of providing support.
“I remember when that boy was born, I told his mom — my ex-wife — that this guy is so beautiful. He looks so much like me. I’ve got to name him Jonathan because he’s only special … tonight we’re here to celebrate that powerful name,” Linton recalled Friday evening.
Davis was one of many neighbours outside of a Darcel Avenue apartment building at around 6:20 p.m. on Saturday when Peel Regional Police alleged seven suspects wearing dark-coloured clothing mostly armed with semi-automatic handguns fired almost 140 rounds of ammunition.
“This was an ambush-type attack … The attackers had complete disregard for public safety within our community,” Chief Chris McCord told reporters on Sunday, adding several people were lined up to buy treats from an ice cream truck.
“Those parents and children fled in the hail of bullets as they were fired into the complex.”
Five people were taken to hospital with various injuries. Four of the injured victims are between 13 and 17 years old. A 50-year-old woman also sustained serious injuries. McCord said investigators believe those filming a music video were the targets of the shooting.
“The intended targets appeared to be a group preparing to film a rap video. The rap video that was shot at this location on an earlier date … has motivated this attack,” McCord said.
McCord said officers believe Davis was a bystander.
“Our investigation leads us to believe that the young man who died last night was actually an innocent victim caught up in this indiscriminate attack,” he said.
Nelson James, Jonathan’s older cousin, said he witnessed a friend dying a couple of years ago and that he “never thought it would have stung so close to home.” He said he wanted to convey a message directly to youth.
“Please don’t be so influenced by the music you listen to. Spread love, spread positivity, be a different person because everything you do is going to come right back to you,” James pleaded.
“We’re not wishing death on anybody. We’re not wishing any harm on anybody. All we want is peace, love and community, please … right now I’m just calling on the end of violence.”
James called the turnout at the vigil “amazing.”
“Jonathan, you’re loved. You’re loved man. So I just pray you keep us in your prayers.”
A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign was created to help cover Davis’s funeral arrangements. As of Friday evening, the campaign raised less than $25,000. Its original goal was $15,000.
Family friend Selma Alincy announced that a scholarship will be setup in Jonathan’s name to support aspiring electricians.
The funeral for Jonathan is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 19.