Hundreds packed Masjid-Al Jannah in Scarborough Wednesday afternoon for the funeral of a 15-year-old boy shot and killed two days earlier near his high school.
Safiullah Khosrawi, known as ‘Safi,’ was the youngest of four boys and a Grade 10 student at Woburn Collegiate Institute.
Dozens of students, many who attended the same classes as Safi, left class to attend the service.
“He was a very shy kid. He really didn’t get into any trouble. He was quite joyful, but he really didn’t get a chance to grow and it’s pretty sad,” said a friend.
Minutes after classes finished Monday afternoon, Khosrawi was shot. Toronto police arrested a 15-year-old boy, who is also a student at Woburn Collegiate Institute, a short time later.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Toronto Police Homicide Squad Det.-Sgt. Andy Singh said the accused, who can’t be identified due to provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is known to police and has some gang-related ties. He was charged with second-degree murder.
Despite the many students who they witnessed the shooting though, police said few have come forward. Although it’s still early in the investigation, Singh said it appears the victim and the suspect didn’t have any previous connection, nor is it clear whether Safiullah was the intended target.
Longtime family friend Samia Fariad recalled watching Khosrawi grow up, calling him a respectful, good and shy child. She said she’s concerned about additional victims of gun violence.
“You’d think we’re coming from a war-torn country where we’re leaving behind all these things and when you hear things like this, you think somewhere else. But it wasn’t somewhere else, it was home.”
“This is going to happen, unfortunately, to someone else and I know that because this seems to be a trend now … We’re not the first and we’re not the last.”
The shooting has rocked the school community. Teacher Arthur Matheson said the days since the shooting has felt like an “emotional rollercoaster.”
“You just never think it’s going to affect your school and your community and have it affect yourself,” he said.
The impact was felt by Khosrawi’s classmates too.
“It could have been any of us at Woburn Collegiate that got shot,” said friend Qareen Kashif.
“He was just walking home … It wasn’t even his fault. He wasn’t in any gangs or anything.”
A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign started by a friend has raised more than $13,000.
“To have lost Safi is heartbreaking. It has come as such a shock to us all,” fundraiser organizer Abuzar Fariad said.
“I am setting up this fund in order to express our support, compassion, and love to the family of Safi throughout this very difficult time.”
Meanwhile, anyone with information or dash-cam video of the shooting is asked to call police at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.
— With files from Nick Westoll