Boy, 12, killed by stray bullet to save others with organ donation
TORONTO -- The 12-year-old boy caught in the crossfire of a shooting in North York and killed will go on to save other lives through organ donations.
Dante Sebastian Andreatta, who has been identified by his father, was out grocery shopping with his mother when he was hit with a stray bullet on Nov. 7. He died four days later, on Remembrance Day.
“It’s with heavy hearts that we mourn a life that was taken too soon, but one that has not left in vain,” said an online fundraising campaign shared with CTV News Toronto.
“Dante’s kindness and generosity will live on through nine lives that were saved because of his organ donation.”
Dante would have turned 13 years old in December. He enjoyed soccer, swimming, bike riding with his friends and cousins and loved his classmates.
“He will be missed deeply, and remembered fiercely as the beautiful, loving, enthusiastic, active and engaging boy," the fundraising campaign said.
“With his organ donation he has given the blessings for those children/teens to carry on living life to the fullest.”
Toronto police said the shooting may be gang related. They said it started in an apartment building parking lot on Stong Court near Jane Street.
Two suspects have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting. As of Monday, police were searching for a third male suspect.
In a statement sent to CTV News Toronto Friday, Dante’s relatives described him as a boy with an "immense" heart who loved being in Canada and loved speaking English.
"He loved sharing his food with others. He was a very happy boy. He was extremely friendly," the relatives said.
"He was always happy, and everyone around him could feel his happiness. He will be truly missed."
Dante’s father, Sebastian Andreatta, and relatives want to thank everyone for all their kindness, support and love in this difficult time.
'Their hero lasts a lifetime': Tragedy and organ donation
Ronnie Gavsie is the president and CEO of the Trillium Gift of Life Network and said that while heartbreaking, Dante's death is not in vain.
"This young person and his family have created a legacy. They’ve saved the lives of others, given them a second chance at life, given their families a second chance of life, and you know there are over 1,600 people waiting for a life-saving medically urgent organ transplant,” Gavsie said speaking with CTV News Toronto Monday.
Gavsie said every three days someone on that wait list dies, and only 35 per cent of Ontarians have registered consent to be an organ donor.
“It’s a very sad situation. It will bring some solace to this family,” said Gavsie.
“Their sorrow lasts a lifetime and their hero lasts a lifetime because they have saved so many.”