Canada

Toronto boy killed in gunfire mourned by hundreds

An 11-year-old Toronto boy shot dead in crossfire last week was remembered Saturday as the light of his parent's future, but one that "dimmed too soon."

An 11-year-old Toronto boy shot dead in crossfire last weekwas remembered Saturday as the light of his parent's future, but onethat "dimmed too soon."

Ephraim Brown, 11, was shot dead at a birthday party last Sunday. ((Toronto Police Services))

Hundreds of people gathered at Emmanuel Church of the Nazarene in the city's north endto pay their last respects to Ephraim Brown.

"He was Lorna and Gerald Brown's star. The light of their future. A light that was dimmed too soon," the boy's tutor, Jennifer Clark, said.

The boy was at a birthday party in the backyard of a north Toronto townhouse complex last Sunday when he was shot in the neck during gunfire between rival gangs, according to police.

At the church, volunteers handed out brown ribbons to guests, saying they were a symbol of friendship, endurance and longevity, while family members donned T-shirts with photos of Brown on them.

The boy's open casket stood at the front, with a flag from his mother's home country, St. Kitts and Nevis, draped in front. Also at the front of the church was a Newfoundland and Labrador flag, brought by relatives from the province. Brown considered himself a Newfoundlander and his family had been planning to relocate there.

Hundreds filled a north Toronto church for Ephraim Brown's funeral Saturday morning. ((CBC))

Family members said the boy's life was cut too short, but that he would always be a part of them.

"We are so proud of you, and we are better because you are a part of us," said the boy's uncle, Randy Brown. "You will always be in our minds. We will speak with you and laugh with you."

About half a dozen police officers were at the funeral to watch over it.

Two men have been charged in Brown's death.

A third man was arrested as a result of the investigation and was charged with violating bail conditions that required him to be under house arrest.

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