'I will never understand': Father of boy, 12, killed in crossfire of Toronto shooting shares grief
TORONTO -- The father of a 12-year-old boy killed by a stray bullet in Toronto last month is sharing his pain and sorrow over the death of his son.
Speaking with CTV News Toronto, Sebastian Andreatta said since the shooting death of Dante Andreatta Marroquin he has been in shock and sick with grief.
“I wake up in the morning with a pain,” Andreatta said from the Brampton home where Dante lived. “It comes with me for the whole day. I can barely talk to anybody.”
Andreatta said he and Dante were close and spent a lot of time together. He would have turned 13-years old on Dec. 14.
“He was going to be a good man. Because he was raised with love,” said an emotional Andreatta. “He was becoming a teenager, a kind, healthy boy, happy, active. He loved to play outside. He had his video games like every kid, but ... he loved sports, soccer, he wanted to become a soccer player.”
Andreatta said what he misses most about Dante is hugging and kissing him.
“He was always happy. He was always hugging. He would also jump on you and hug you,” he said. “He would say, ‘I like you, I love you. I love you daddy.’”
Andreatta said he was raising Dante in Brampton and has been separated from his mother for some time. On Nov. 7, the day of the shooting he said he brought Dante to his mother’s home in the Jane and Finch area. The pair went grocery shopping and were walking when Dante was hit with a bullet in the neck.
Andreatta said the family, including Dante’s mother, two sisters and grandparents are still trying to make sense of why Dante was taken away.
“I will never understand why. Even how, because if you go there, I’ve been there many times .... you see trees, the fence, so far away, how did it happened, sometimes I don’t understand.”
Dante died in hospital on Remembrance Day.
“I was crushed. I believe I’m still in shock. Those days, it was hard. It was really, really hard. It’s some of thing that a father, or a parent shouldn’t go through.”
Nine of Dante’s organs were donated to save lives.
“I think it was an act of love,” his father said. “We wanted him to live and he was healthy so we decided the best was too donate his organs.”
“We thought it was the right thing to do actually. Deep inside me I knew, I wasn’t going to have my kid back.”
Toronto police said at the time at least 30 rounds were found in and around the apartment building parking lot on Stong Court where the shooting took place.
Police also said the shooting may gang related. Three suspects have been charged with first degree murder, two alleged shooters and their driver in connection with the boy’s death.
Andreatta said he hasn’t been able to watch news reports about Dante or the shooting, but is learning about and plans to follow the criminal justice proceedings as they unfold in the coming months and years.
Andreatta said he hopes the people who killed Dante, aren’t granted freedoms to hurt any other families, ever again.
“They destroy lives, they destroy families. They shouldn’t be on the street,” he said.
“They don’t care about the consequences. They simply break and they destroy. We shouldn’t allow that as a society. We shouldn’t allow guns on streets and gangs. I think everybody should understand that.”
“He destroyed my life. He destroyed Dante’s life. This home is not the same without him.”
Jahwayne Smart, 25, who police say was on a parole violation at the time, Rashawn Chambers, 24, and Cjay Hobbs, 27, of Toronto have been charged with first-degree murder.
None of the allegations has been tested in court.
Smart granted statutory release in March: National Parole Board documents
According to documents obtained by CTV News Toronto Smart was granted statutory release in March 2020.
In its decision, the board said Smart was a first time federal offender a three year, five month sentence for offences related to possess schedule substance for the purpose of trafficking, conspire to commit an indictable offence, failure to attend court, possess weapons contrary to prohibition order, and possess prohibited/restricted firearm with ammunition.
“You are not to associate with any person you know or have reason to believe is involved in criminal activity. This includes anyone who uses, sells, distributes or manufactures illicit drugs,” the decision said.
“It is abundantly clear you are deeply involved in gang related subculture including the trafficking of illicit drugs and weapons. Your criminal associations in the community have encouraged your criminal offending. It is important that you sever these ties, in order to remain manageable in the community. This condition will support that and encourage you to focus your attention on pro social relationships.”
As part of the conditions set out by the board, Smart was not to associate with any person he knew or had reason to believe was involved with criminal activity, remain gainfully employed, and not own or possess more than one mobile communication device with a single subscribe identification module(SIM) card
Statutory release is a law requires that federal offenders who have served two-thirds of a fixed-length sentence be released from prison under supervision at that point.
“Offenders on statutory release are required to follow standard conditions set out in the law. Offenders must report to their Correctional Service Canada Parole Officer on a regular basis and can be returned to prison if they are believed to present an undue risk to the public,” said a spokesperson.