TORONTO – Members of a west-end Toronto mosque are mourning a congregant who died after being stabbed in the neck outside the facility over the weekend, the organization said as police investigated the incident.
Toronto police said they were called to the mosque at about 8:40 p.m. on Saturday and found the man gravely wounded. He was pronounced dead at the scene outside the International Muslim Organization of Toronto in the Rexdale area.
The homicide unit is investigating, and searching for a suspect described as a slim male wearing a black hoodie, who fled on foot.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims issued a statement on behalf of the mosque, which said the victim was a member.
The organization said it’s “deeply saddened and shocked” by what happened.
“We pray that our brother is in a better place. We ask you that you spend your time praying for him and his family in these testing times,” reads the statement, signed by the board of the IMO.
The building has closed its doors for now and the organization said it will reopen when the investigation is concluded and it is deemed safe for the congregation to return.
“We know that many of us are saddened beyond words, and are afraid and worried after such an act of violence struck so close to home,” the statement said, noting that those affected can contact a mental health hotline or arrange a meeting with a spiritual counsellor.
The statement urged people not to speculate about the motive of the attack until police finish their investigation.