Sisters remember Junction Triangle shooting victim as ‘humble,’ ‘respectable’ person
A 22-year-old man shot dead in the city’s Junction Triangle neighbourhood Tuesday afternoon is being described by his siblings as someone who was caring and humble.
Jerome Belle was found by paramedics after gunshots rang out between two apartment buildings near Randolph and Perth avenues at around 3:30 p.m.
He was rushed to hospital with critical injuries, but did not survive.
A day later, blue and white balloons are seen tied to a post on Randolph Avenue. A small collection of flowers and candles sit on the roadway where Belle was found by emergency crews.
“He’s a great person,” his sister, Chanelle Kent, said. “Everybody loved him. Very humble.”
Another sibling told CTV News Toronto that Belle was last seen by an aunt around 2 p.m. on the day of the shooting. His aunt told them he was sleeping.
“And then the next phone call we get is ‘he’s dead,’” Cherelle Kent said. “This morning, I had to tell my kids that their uncle got killed.”
“This gun violence thing is ridiculous,” Cherelle Kent added. “It has to stop. If we don’t stop as a community, it’ll never stop. There is no reason why parents need to be burying their own kids.”
Toronto police described the shooting as “targeted” and said the victim was known to them, but refused to elaborate.
Cherelle Kent said that she doesn’t understand why someone would target her brother.
“He is very loving, very caring. He loved my kids like it was his own kids,” she said. “He is a very, very respectable, loving person.”
Belle was an aspiring rapper who went by the nickname “Murda” and his sister said that he wanted to “go big.”
The family said they have received numerous messages of support from his friends. In one message, sent to the siblings on Instagram, Belle was described as “funny, humble and smart.”
“Murda was one the favourite people I’ve ever met,” the message read. “I’ve been blessed to share amazing memories with him.”
Investigators are looking for at least one male suspect who was last seen wearing a white hooded sweater that was pulled tightly over his face.
The suspect reportedly fled from the 21 Randolph Avenue area after the shooting and headed toward Perth Avenue. He has not been seen since.
A vigil was scheduled for the family and friends of Belle for 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
“He was loved by many. You will see a lot of people here today,” Chanelle Kent said.
Police are asking anyone with video surveillance in the area to contact them or Crime Stoppers.
With files from CTV News Toronto's Tracy Tong