Funeral held for innocent T.O. shooting victim
A brother and sister have said their final goodbye to their father, an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire of a Toronto gun battle a week ago.
Mourners packed the downtown Wing On funeral home to pay their respects to Hou Chang Mao, a 47-year-old grocery store clerk who moved to Canada from China two years ago to build a better life for his children.
Friends of Mao shed tears at the simple service, describing him as a dedicated father and polite, hard-working man.
The funeral service was painful and emotional for Mao's children, 18-year-old Yun Yan and 23-year-old Zuo Xi.
"It's very difficult (for them). I see the daughter has been crying all day," said Jack Li, president of the Fuqing Community Association of Canada.
Mao's wife, who lives in China, could not afford to attend the funeral. Mao's body was later taken away for cremation at a private service.
The Chinese community raised $10,000 for the family so they could give Mao a proper funeral.
On Thursday night, his children and members of the Chinese community held a Buddhist ceremony at the east-end store where Mao was fatally shot.
The service, attended by a monk, was held to call Mao's spirit, which his family believes could have been disconnected from his body due to his violent death.
Mao was fatally shot on Jan. 17 outside the Fu Yao Supermarket on Gerrard Street East.
Investigators are frustrated with the lack of witnesses who have come forward with information. Police say there were about 100 residents in the area when the shooting occurred.
Officers returned to the neighbourhood on Thursday night to hand out flyers and appeal for tips. Police have also posted a video appeal in English, Mandarin and Cantonese on YouTube.
Police have not made any arrests or released suspect descriptions. They have, however, released a photo of a light-coloured car they believe is connected to the shooting.
Police also said they are looking to speak with two men seen running from the scene. Authorities are investigating whether the men witnessed the shooting or were the intended targets.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Roger Petersen