Family and friends of a Toronto teen fatally shot this summer are holding a memorial for him today as police continue to search for answers despite the silence of more than a dozen eyewitnesses.
Tahj Loor Walters was shot at around 10:15 ET, at a shopping plaza in north Toronto on July 28 — not far from his community housing complex in the Jane-Finch area.
A statement from police on July 31 said that the teen was approached by two men in a vehicle, who shot him "several times" before fleeing the scene.
The 15-year-old was taken Sunnybrook Hospital with life-threatening injuries and died in hospital.
Security camera footage from the plaza "determined there were numerous witnesses present at the time of this shooting."
In the months since his death, police have not been able to acquire enough witness statements despite more than a dozen people being at the scene.
“We made attempts to interview the dozens of people who were around the plaza at the time of the shooting and who are eyewitnesses to the murder itself and we haven’t been able to get anybody to speak to us,” Det. Sgt. Dean Burks told CBC’s Ivy Cuervo.
“By all accounts he seemed to be well liked by the members of the community...That's something else that's shocking to me, that a young man who's so well thought of and apparently so well liked and loved by the members of the community that nobody would come forward.”
Today the family and friends of the slain teen are gathering to remember him, while raising money to help fight gun violence and promote education in their community.
Loor-Walters's mother Symone Walters said that she will be pushed out of the neighbourhood by violence and fear.
"This is my home and I don't want to be made to leave," she said in a statement.
"Why must we leave our neighbourhood where we grew up just so we can be safe and our children free from harm? We have to make changes here — so that families and children have access to opportunities and don't live in fear."