Rebuilding lives in aftermath of the shooting that killed Abshir Hassan
Mother of one of the victims left her home and will never return
When school teacher Abshir Hassan was gunned down in front of his building in Lawrence Heights earlier this month, a community mourned.
Hassan, 31, was well-liked both professionally and personally. He had grown up in the area and was just moving his car when he was struck down by gunfire.
But two others were also shot that night, on July 8 at around 12:15 a.m. They survived.
Kewana, a 22-year-old man who for safety reasons does not want his last name published is not using his last name, and his 18-year-old girlfriend are both recovering from being shot several times.
Kewana lived with his mother, 44-year old Monique Edwards, next door to Hassan on the main floor of the building. His family has not been back to the apartment building on Flemington Road near Lawrence Avenue West and Allen Road since the shooting.
Kewana's girlfriend was also wounded and is in a rehab facility. She was shot in the leg and midsection. A bullet pierced her intestine but she is expected to recover.
He remains in hospital after suffering four gunshot wounds. Kewana was hit in the spine and cannot feel his legs. His family hopes he will walk again though.
Kewana is the oldest of her four children and the only son.
He joined his mother in Toronto three years ago from St. Vincent. She says his passion was music and deejaying, but he was enrolled to return to school in September to upgrade his skills and enter the construction industry.
Edwards was sleeping when the shooting occurred. The gunshots woke her up, but she thought the noises were firecrackers.
Her 19-year-old daughter ran in moments later and said Kewana was shot. Edwards went outside to find three people lying on the ground, including her son.
Edwards says that night she and her daughter moved away from the Flemington Road apartment where the shooting happened and will never return. She is haunted by the sight of her son lying on the ground wounded.
As tormented as Edwards is by the shooting of her son, she says she feels sorry for the mothers of the shooters. She wants them to turn themselves in and give up guns.
With a report from the CBC’s Sue Sgambati