Mother still waiting for answers year after son shot dead while sleeping at Toronto friend’s home

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WATCH ABOVE: It’s been one year since 25-year-old Paul Anthony Desouza was killed inside an east-end Toronto home. Police say he was the unintended target but they are still looking for the people responsible for his death. Erica Vella reports – Jan 11, 2021

It’s been a year since the death of 25-year-old Paul Anthony DeSouza and his mother, KerryAnn DeSouza, says she continues to grieve the sudden loss of her son as Toronto police continue searching for the person or people responsible for his death.

KerryAnn said on Jan. 11, 2020, DeSouza was over at his friend’s house the evening before, noting it was something he would normally do on Friday evenings.

“He would see his niece … He would spend some time with her and bring some food,” she said.

READ MORE: Man dead after shooting at east-end Toronto home

“He would hang out with his friends … They didn’t go out on the street. Friday nights they were at home playing video games and watching movies and having a couple of drinks.”

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Police were called to the house on Military Trail, just west of Neilson Road, at around 2 a.m. on that day with reports of a shooting. At the time, officers said one or more persons attended the rear of the home and began discharging a firearm into the home.

Paul was sleeping on the couch at the time of the shooting and was struck by the gunfire. He was rushed to a Toronto hospital, but was pronounced dead a short time later.

READ MORE: 2 charged in ‘brazen’ shooting that left innocent 12-year-old boy in life-threatening condition

KerryAnn, who lives in Windsor, said she was told about the shooting by a relative.

“We just jumped into the car and we drove to Toronto,” she said, adding she had felt her son had died before arriving at the hospital.

“Sometime between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., [I remember] seeing PJ in the sky. I started screaming in the car and telling him to fight. We found out about two or three weeks ago, PJ’s time of death was 4:15 a.m.”

Meanwhile, police said they are continuing to investigate the shooting.

“At this time there are no investigative updates to share, although investigators believe there are witnesses who have yet to come forward,” a spokesperson told Global News in a statement.

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Investigators said at least three people were involved and two people were shooting but at the time, curtains were drawn and only a silhouette could be seen. Officers said Paul was not the intended target.

READ MORE: Back to the future: Neighbourhood policing gaining new favour, Toronto police chief says

A dark, four-door sedan was seen in the area at least half an hour before the shooting and investigators asked anyone with information to contact police or Crime Stoppers anonymously.

“We strongly believe that people have information on who did this and are refusing to come forward,” said KerryAnn, adding she will continue to push for answers.

“It will never bring PJ back, but if we could have someone held accountable for PJ’s murder and save another mother, father, sister or brother, niece or nephew from feeling the pain of someone being taken from them and not understanding why? That’s all we can ask for.”