'I wanted to die,' says shooting victim's mother
Published Thursday, July 26, 2012 8:06PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 27, 2012 7:35AM EDT
The mother of 14-year-old Shyanne Charles, who died after being shot at an outdoor party on Danzig Street on July 16, says her daughter’s killing left her wanting to die.
Afifa Charles was at the block party when Shyanne was gunned down.
“I couldn’t believe that she was laying on the ground,” Afifa told CTV Toronto in an exclusive interview. “I wanted to die that same night.”
Shyanne was one of two victims of the shooting. Twenty-three others were injured in the fray.
Afifa, who remembers Shyanne as a “happy” and “loving” girl who wanted to be a singer, wants the shooter to be brought to justice.
“I hope he suffers like how I’m suffering right now,” she said.
The public shooting was the worst in Toronto’s history. At least one gunman opened fire at the crowded party.
Two more shootings followed in the next three days.
“They need to adjust the laws (so) that criminals will be scared to pick a gun up,” said Shyanne’s grandfather, Tyrone Charles. “The penalty for touching a gun will be so severe they will think twice before they touch it.”
In an effort to bring something positive out of her death, Shyanne’s family has set up a scholarship fund in her name.
Her favourite subject was English, Afifa said.
“That was the highest mark she ever got. She just loved the English language, she just loved poetry,” Afifa said.
Donations to the Shyanne Charles scholarship fund can be made at any Royal Bank branch under her name.
She will be laid to rest on Saturday in Toronto.
A funeral mass for the second victim, 23-year-old Joshua Yasay, was held on Monday.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Austin Delaney.