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'An angel on Earth': Vigil held for father of 4 killed in Toronto bus stop shooting

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A community in northwest Toronto held a vigil Saturday for Adu Boakye, a father of four killed in one of two apparent random shootings in the neighbourhood last weekend.

Dozens of people braved the cold to pay their respects to the 40-year-old Ghanaian man, who had arrived in Canada just three months ago before he was shot and killed at a bus stop near Jane Street and Driftwood Avenue.

“We will not let this cowardly act strike fear in our hearts, because we want to make a point that we have a good community here. We have a strong community,” Mayor Olivia Chow said, flanked by representatives of the city’s Ghanaian community and the Toronto Police Service.

Friends of Boakye said he had arrived in Canada on a work permit in November and had started a job on Jan. 22, to support his wife and children back home.

One of his closest friends, Richardson Adorsu, told CP24 Saturday that although Boakye didn’t talk much, he always listened and offered valuable advice to anyone who asked for it.

“I would describe him as a good man. An angel on earth,” an emotional Adorsu said.

Boakye was at a bus stop in the area last Saturday afternoon when he was approached by an unknown suspect and shot at. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

People place flowers at a vigil for Adu Boakye, a man who was fatally shot while waiting for the bus last week near a community centre in Northwest Toronto, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. Boakye, a 39-year-old man from Ghana who police said came to Toronto last November to support his family. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Less than 24 hours prior, another shooting took place at a bus stop at the same intersection. In that case, a 16-year-old boy who was on his way to a volleyball game was shot in the face and left in life-threatening condition. Police last said he remains in hospital in critical, but stable condition with potentially life-altering injuries.

In both cases, police have said the victims were “utterly innocent.”

No arrests made

Investigators believe the same suspect, or suspects, are responsible for both shootings, police said last week.

It’s unclear what may have motivated the seemingly random attacks, but police have also said the back-to-back shootings have the “hallmarks of gang activity.”

A description of one suspect was released by police earlier this week. He’s described as a Black male between the ages of 18 and 25 with a thin build.

On Friday, police said officers are searching for evidence in Hamilton in connection with the shootings but stayed tight-lipped on what they were searching for.

Police previously said a suspected stolen vehicle used by the suspect, or suspects, in both incidents, was found abandoned in Hamilton.

In her remarks on Saturday, Chow delivered a message to those responsible for the shootings, vowing to bring them to justice.

“To the killer or killers, you think you can strike fear in the heart of the community? Forget it… We will track you down and lock you away because you cannot get [away with] this senseless violence."

Police are investigating a fatal shooting near Jane and Driftwood. (Simon Sheehan/CP24)

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