Parents of Luka Gordic, 19-year old killed in Whistler, push for tougher laws
'This could have been anybody's child,' say parents of B.C. teen slain in Whistler
Luka Gordic's parents say they're living a nightmare in the loss of their youngest son — a "beautiful kid" with an "army of friends" who was stabbed in the heart in Whistler, B.C., 10 days ago.
The 19-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., was on what was supposed to be a fun long weekend trip.
He was walking around Whistler village with friends, but became separated from them in the early hours of May 17 when he went into a 7-11 to buy a bag of chips.
As he left the convenience store, he was swarmed by up to 10 teenagers, and stabbed multiple times, said police. Three 17-year olds and one 18-year old, Arvin Golic, have been charged with manslaughter.
"This could have been anybody's child," said his tearful mother, Clara Gordic.
"Luka just went up there for fun, the way it's supposed to be ... They took his life away, for no reason."
Now, his family is hoping their loss will trigger tighter controls on knives, and tougher treatment for young offenders, through their #JusticeforLuka campaign.
"Hopefully we are going to be able to do something so that no parents again cry like we do," said his father, Mitch Gordic.
"We have to do something."
'Even now I can't believe it'
The family has received an outpouring of support from Burnaby and beyond, with hundreds of people attending a #JusticeforLuka vigil and thousands signing the family's online petition.
Luka's parents remember him as a confident, "simple, sweet guy," who loved his family and was studying to be a plumber.
"He had an army of friends, nice boys and girls. Just a beautiful kid," said his father.
The 19-year-old was the "baby of the family," and liked to work out so he could wrestle his bigger, older brothers, said Mitch Gordic.
His mother discouraged him from going to Whistler, but decided to lend Luka her car.
"Saturday morning I called him, just to remind him to be good, and be safe," said Clara Gordic. "He's like, 'Oh, don't worry Mom, I'm just taking a shower, I'm going to be leaving soon.'"
After midnight, the Gordics got a call that Luka had been "hurt," and jumped in the car not knowing how bad it was.
"It was a nightmare driving up there. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to go crazy, but I can't because I've got to be strong for my other kids and my husband," said Clara Gordic, through tears.
'This is definitely not about gangs'
Despite descriptions of "gangs" of young people wandering Whistler village looking for trouble on the long weekend, Gordic's uncle insists Luka had no criminal involvement.
"You have a normal, happy, Canadian boy living with a great family," said Gianni Buono, who teaches physical education at Burnaby Central, the same high school Luka Gordic graduated from.
"This is definitely not about gangs."
Buono believes his nephew was attacked because he had criticized someone for speaking rudely to a girl in Whistler village. Police haven't described a motivation for the attack.
"It's such a shame because you try to stand up for someone ... and the result is a shameful, senseless, cowardly crime."