Mourners remember 'perfect' girl killed in Danzig shooting
Published Friday, July 27, 2012 9:03AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 28, 2012 12:15AM EDT
Friends and family gathered at a Scarborough funeral home Friday for a visitation to remember the 14-year-old victim of Toronto’s Danzig Street shooting.
Shyanne Charles was shot and killed after gunfire broke out at a community barbeque in Scarborough earlier this month.
Mourners hugged in the parking lot of the funeral home Friday evening, many of them wearing white to signify Shyanne’s innocence.
Inside the funeral home, people signed Shyanne’s white casket with a message and were handed white T-shirts with the girl’s school photo on the front and a poem her uncle, Shakiyl Charles, wrote on the back.
The poem read: “If I gotta take a plane and fly
“Even with two broken wings I’ll try to hold
“Nothing you seen could have showed you
“My life is a dream when I get close to you.”
Shakiyl Charles spoke of his niece outside the funeral home.
“The reality set in. It’s been two weeks,” he told reporters, calling his niece “perfect.”
Shyanne dreamed of a being a singer, her uncle said, and she had turned his poem into a song that he now carries on his phone.
The song was also played inside the funeral home.
“It's a poem I wrote a year ago and I didn't know the meaning until now,” her uncle said.
Shyanne was one of two victims to die in the July 16 shooting. Joshua Yasay, 23, of Ajax was also killed and 23 others were injured.
The shooting prompted Toronto police to step up their presence on patrols from now until Sept. 6.
While there were many tears and hugs outside the funeral home, there was outrage, too, as mourners questioned how an innocent girl could become the victim of gun violence.
“For a 14 year old, at a barbeque, to get shot, for no reason, come on man, everybody’s using guns for no reason,” said one young man, who did not want to give his name. “They’re just using guns to cause problems, not to solve anything. What happened to the days when people used to use their firsts, or solve it out?”
In an exclusive interview with CTV News on Thursday, Shyanne’s mother said her daughter’s killing left her wanting to die.
“I couldn’t believe that she was laying on the ground,” said Afifa Charles. “I wanted to die that same night.”
In an effort to bring something positive out of her death, Shyanne’s family has set up a scholarship fund in her name.
Donations to the Shyanne Charles scholarship fund can be made at any Royal Bank branch.
A funeral service for Shyanne is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. at the same location.
A funeral for Yasay was held on Monday.
With files from CTV Toronto's Ashley Rowe