More than 1,000 people showed up, according to the Maritime Sikh Society, to a candlelight vigil Friday evening for homicide victim Prabhjot Singh Katri, a 23-year-old killed early Sunday morning in Truro, N.S.
The vigil began at 6 p.m. at the Truro Mall and ended with participants laying flowers at 494 Robie Street — the apartment building where Singh was murdered.
“(This) should not happen to anybody else, we are just trying to get that clear,” said Singh’s former co-worker and friend Arshdeep Singh during the event.
“It’s not acceptable for anybody that things like this happen in a peaceful country like this, so we just need justice and we thank people for coming here.”
Singh is remembered by friends and family for his kind heart and work ethic. He had been working multiple jobs to support his mother in his home country of India.
People of all ages were in attendance Friday evening. “It’s important to support our friends and neighbours,” said 9-year-old Elijah Dobie.
In an interview earlier in the day, Maritime Sikh Society president Simardeep Hundal said she was shaken by the news of his death.
“Losing a young life like that is horrible, especially when we know he came here with a lot of hopes and dreams of creating a better life for himself and his family,” she said. “It’s tragic. It’s sad, sad, sad in every way.”
Hundal said the society is working to support Singh’s family, as well as the people who were with him when he died who are “badly traumatized.”
She didn’t know Singh during his short life, “but I know him now. Everybody knows him now,” she said.
A GoFundMe page to raise money to send his body back to India has raised nearly $90,000.
Indian flag lowered
The Truro Police Service has confirmed Singh’s death was a homicide, but few other details were made available.
A person of interest was arrested earlier in the week and arrested without charges, but they remain a person of interest, police Chief Dave MacNeil told reporters on Tuesday. The police force is not releasing any information about potential motives.
According to the Town of Truro, the national flag of India has been placed at half-mast at the Truro Town Hall “as a sign of respect and mourning.”
“This senseless act has deeply impacted our community,” the town said in a statement posted to its Facebook page.
“We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the Canadian Sikh community who is also mourning this loss.”
Hundal said she was touched by the amount of support shown to Singh’s loved ones by the community after the tragedy.
She added that while some have feared that the homicide was motivated by hate, she is not speculating about possible motives and wants to allow the police to do their jobs.
“We really care about each other. We need more compassion in the world,” she said.
“We need to be more inclusive and understanding of each other. A little bit of empathy goes far.”
— with files from Callum Smith