London, Ont. man, 27, sought for 2nd-degree murder in fatal east end stabbing: police

Antony Centeno-So, 27, of London. London Police Service/Handout

An arrest warrant has been issued for a 27-year-old London, Ont. man wanted in connection with a fatal weekend stabbing in the city’s east end, police said Thursday.

Antony Centeno-So is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 31-year-old Devon Cherrey-Rooke on Sunday, police said.

Officers responded to the parking lot of a Home Depot near Clarke Road and Dundas Street around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday for a report of an injured man.

Cherrey-Rooke was located by emergency crews at the scene and was rushed to hospital where he died a short time later of a fatal stab wound, police said.

Police say Cherrey-Rooke and Centeno-So were known to each other, and say the 27-year-old suspect remains at large.

Few other details have been released in connection with the case, the city’s fourth homicide of 2022.

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An obituary published on the website of Arbor Memorial said Cherrey-Rooked loved “writing and making music, singing and dancing, fashion and basketball.”

“Forever in the hearts of his parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, extended family and friends.”

A gathering will be held for family and friends at Forest Lawn Funeral Home from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, and a funeral service will be held the following day at 11 a.m.

“In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Ark Aid Mission Services or Canadian Mental Health Association,” the obituary reads.

Read more: No arrests after man, 31, fatally stabbed in east London, Ont. on Sunday: police

In an interview with Global News on Wednesday, Silke Genaille, a friend of Cherrey-Rooke, described the 31-year-old as humble, friendly and like another son to her.

Genaille said she and Cherrey-Rooke became acquainted roughly two years ago. She said she would occasionally see Cherrey-Rooke around the neighbourhood in the Clarke and Dundas area, sometimes by himself, including in the rain without a jacket.

“I would see him around and I would hear people teasing him and mocking him and making fun of him and putting him down and saying this and that. I didn’t like that. So maybe that’s what drew me to him, you know?” she said.

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“He just looked like he needed a friend. So I just put myself out there and I reached out to him and just put him under my wing. I just felt like, you know what? This is somebody I need to reach out to, take care of in a roundabout way.”

Devon Cherrey-Rooke. Credit: Arbor Memorial

Genaille says the second time they met, she opened up her window and asked if he was hungry and wanted something to eat. The weather was cold and Cherrey-Rooke wasn’t wearing socks.

“He folded his hands together, like in prayer, and he shook his head yes.”

Genaille gave him some doughnuts, a pair of socks to wear and $10 to get a bowl of soup at the nearby Tim Hortons. “He thanked me. He was very happy and he was very grateful, and he gave me a hug.”

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Cherrey-Rooke, she said, was someone who just needed to be told that someone cared about him. The pair would meet on a regular basis, sometimes once or twice a week, at Genaille’s home. He was always welcome there if he needed somewhere to go or something to eat or someone to talk to, she said.

“I let him know that I care about him. And I also let him know that I don’t judge him. We all come from different backgrounds and we’re not perfect. And I don’t judge you at all. You are someone that I just want to reach out to and tell this to, that I care about you, and I think of you as one of my own children,” she said.

“I just felt that I just needed to this be a friend, you know? And he started calling me Mama, so I felt like I was now being a mother to him. It made me happy. It gave me a purpose ’cause I had some rough times myself, so it gave me a purpose. I would look forward to him coming around.”

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Knowing that she won’t see Cherrey-Rooke anymore has created an “emptiness in my heart,” she said. The anticipation of seeing her friend has been taken away from her, she said.

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“I loved him. I spoiled him. I looked after him like he was one of my own children, like he was my son. Now I don’t have that. My days are just now going to be void, like empty,” she said.

“Basically how I could put it is I have nothing now to look forward to. I wake up and yeah, the sun is shining. But you know what? There’s a dark cloud over my head because I’ll miss him now for the rest of my life.”

The last time the pair spent time together was on Friday in Genaille’s living room, two days before he died. Cherrey-Rooke always brought her little gifts to which she would respond with gifts of her own. This time he brought her a purse, she said.

“The last thing he said to me was, ‘What would you like?’ And I told him, and he said, ‘OK, I’ll be right back.’ That was it. He gave me a big hug. He always gave tight hugs. I’ll miss those tight hugs.”

To those responsible for Cherrey-Rooke’s death, Genaille had only one message: “Make it right, turn yourself in.”

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