Rwandan community rallying around family of 15-year-old killed in Saskatoon

A close family friend says the Rwandan community has been rallying around the family of the young man, trying to offer them support during this difficult time.

Three teenagers charged with second-degree murder in the death appeared in court Thursday

Marcel Mutarugera, a close family friend of the teen who died on Nov. 2, says the community is rallying around the family to try and support and comfort them during this difficult time. He spoke with media after a court appearance of the three accused at Saskatoon's Provincial Court on Nov. 7, 2019. (Don Somers/CBC)

Saskatoon's Rwandan community is rallying around the family of a 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed earlier this month.

Three teenagers, two 15-year-olds and a 17-year-old, have been charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death. All three appeared in Saskatoon's Provincial Court on Thursday morning.

One of the 15-year-olds is also charged with possession of a firearm while prohibited and breach of probation. Neither the accused, nor the victim, can be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act and the death is the city's 15th homicide of 2019.

The victim, who was originally from Rwanda, would die after he collapsed in the lobby of a Credit Union in the 2300 block of Arlington Avenue. First responders tried to save the boy, but they were unsuccessful. Police say an autopsy has determined he died as a result of a gunshot wound.

The injured teen managed to make it through these doors and into the vestibule area. (Dan Zakreski/CBC)

The courtroom was packed on Wednesday. Family friends say the community has been saddened by the untimely death.

"It's very sad for them, when you hear someone has died without sickness or any problem in his life. Of course, the community is very shocked and sad," said Marcel Mutarugera, a family friend. 

Family members of the victim are having a hard time dealing with the death and said they didn't want to speak with reporters following Wednesday's court appearance. 

However, Mutarugera said the community is rallying around the family.

"They are gathering every night," he said. "They're coming together at the house to comfort the family." 

An aerial view of Saskatoon Provincial Court. Three accused in Saskatoon's 15th homicide of 2019 appeared in court on Thursday morning, Nov. 7, 2019. (Trevor Bothorel/CBC)

Police said officers executed search warrants at three residences as part of the investigation, seizing physical evidence in connection to the death. Police do not believe the incident was random in nature. 

"Investigators have worked diligently over the past number of days, since this incident occurred, and want to thank the public for their assistance in this matter," said a news release from Saskatoon police.

The three accused will be back in court later this month.