Toronto

Danforth drive-by shooting victim 'did not deserve' to die, sister says

The sister of a 20-year-old man killed in a drive-by shooting on Danforth Avenue last weekend said the young man "did not deserve to have his life taken so abruptly" and pleaded with witnesses to come forward with information.

Police release video of white car in area when Abdullah Farah, 20, gunned down

The sister of Abdullah Farah said her brother "did not deserve to die" in a drive-by shooting on Danforth Avenue last weekend. (Toronto Police)

The sister of a 20-year-old man killed in a drive-by shooting on Danforth Avenue last weekend said the young man "did not deserve to have his life taken so abruptly" and pleaded with witnesses to come forward.

Ifrah Farah, sister of Abdullah Farah, who was killed early Sunday morning, recalled a loving brother who never left the family home without hugging his siblings or parents.

"To know Abdullah was to love him and those who knew him were better people for having known him," Farah said, speaking on behalf of their large family.

"Abdullah's death was beyond heartbreaking. It's something that no family should have to go through."

Abdullah Farah, 20, died after being refused entry to a hookah lounge at Danforth and Coxwell, according to homicide Det. Leslie Dunkley.

Police were called to the area after several 911 calls reported that gunshots had been fired from a moving vehicle.

Emergency responders found the victim without vital signs, lying between two parked cars. He was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

'Our brother was not involved in any gang activity'

Farah had arrived at the Cloud 9 café, at 1524 Danforth Avenue, shortly before 1:30 a.m. on Sunday with two other people, Dunkley told reporters Thursday at police headquarters.

He spoke with a third person outside the cafe before he was denied entry, and was hit by the gunfire shortly after turning away from the café's front door, Dunkley said.

Asked by a reporter whether he knew why Farah was denied access to the cafe, Dunkley said yes but would not reveal the reason. Investigators have yet to identify the two men with whom Farah arrived at the cafe, or the third man he spoke to outside.

Ifrah Farah said she wanted to clear up "misconceptions" about her brother that suggested he may have had ties to criminal activity.

"Our brother was not involved in any gang activity," she said. "He was not known to the police and he did not deserve to have his life taken so abruptly."

She accused the media of careless reporting about her brother's character.

"Our brother was killed by a bullet, and we don't want his character assassinated, as well," she said.

Dunkley contradicted the family's claim that Farah was not the intended target of the shooting. Based on the circumstances surrounding the shooting, he said, it appears that he was.

"We have to also keep in mind that he was in the company of three other individuals who may have been targeted, but were not struck," Dunkley added.

He also said that Farah had no criminal record, was not before the courts on any pending charges and had no known gang ties.

'Several people out there who know what happened'

While police initially had little information about a suspect, they have learned that a white sedan seen travelling eastbound on Danforth Avenue at the time was involved in the shooting.

On Thursday, Dunkley released surveillance video taken at the time of the shooting that shows the car drive back and forth in front of the café three times. On the third time, Farah is shot.

Police have been unable to identify the make and model of the car, and are appealing to members of the public who were in the area at the time, whether on foot or driving by with dash cams, to come forward.

"We know that there are several people out there who know what happened or who can identify this vehicle," Dunkley said.

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