Friends say Ibrahim Abukar had the charisma and business talent to be the next Donald Trump, so few can understand why he was shot dead in an alleged home invasion.
Hundreds gathered Monday at a west-end mosque for the 22-year-old’s funeral. Friend Tina Solomon said Abukar had big dreams and would jokingly refer to him as "CEO."
"Personally, I don’t see Ibrahim throwing everything away because he was on the brink of becoming so successful," she said.
Abukar was shot and killed early Friday morning after an altercation at a residence on Corkstone Glade, near Rathburn Road and Dixie Road in Mississauga.
Police said they responded to a 911 call just after 12:30 a.m. for an alleged home invasion. They said the homeowner had confronted three men, two of whom were armed, who had broken into their home. In the ensuing struggle, Abukar was shot dead and the two other men fled the scene.
Abukar was previously a student at York University’s Schulich School of Business, but was enrolled in the Liberal Arts and Professional Studies Faculty at the time of his death. In his first year as a business student, he and his brother founded Bookfly.ca, a website allowing students to rent textbooks. He later sold that business and joined forces with Rahul Martis who was among the mourners at the mosque.
"He was just a great guy, always had a smile on his face, always brought light into the day, no matter what happens, he’d always look at the positive side of things," Martis said.
Like many at the funeral, Martis was unable to reconcile the man he knew and the one being portrayed in news stories about the home invasion.
"It doesn't seem like him at all," Martis said.
"He had so much going for him, it doesn’t fit the profile at all with what happened."
Abukar was also a member of the Somali Students’ Association at York University. Members of the group declined to speak with media at the funeral.
Abukar was active in the community, attending a number of events dealing with violence in the Somali-Canadian community.
Abukar is the seventh Somali-Canadian youth to be slain in the Greater Toronto Area since June.
Community leader Abdulkadir Osman said the community has to ask a lot of difficult questions of itself.
"This is not a loss for one family, but for the entire community," Osman said.
"There are problems and challenges the community is facing. What as a community we need to do is look at ourselves and evaluate ourselves and ask: 'What is going on?'"
The investigation into the break-and-enter is still ongoing and no charges have been laid. Police are still looking for the two men who fled the scene.
The inhabitant of the home, Mike Vrga, lives there with his wife and two children. A woman in her 20s rents the basement apartment where police said the commotion took place.
Police said a gun was recovered at the scene, but haven't determined if it was the gun that fired the fatal shot.
Police also haven't determined if there's a connection between Vrga and Abukar and aren't saying who fired the fatal shot.
Despite that, a Facebook page was started in support of Vrga, with users coming to his defence, saying he had a right to defend his home.
Ibrahim Abukar was no longer in the Schulich Business School at the time of his death, but was still a student at York University in the the Liberal Arts and Professional Studies FacultyDec 11, 2012 5:25 PM ET