Toronto

Gabriel Nikov, 18, identified as victim of Bloor-Yonge shooting

Toronto police have identified the victim of a shooting at the corner of Bloor Street and Yonge Street as Gabriel Nikov, 18.

'Sombre day for our school,' says principal of high school victim attended

Gabriel Nikov is seen in a profile picture from his Facebook page. (Facebook)

Toronto police have identified the victim of a shooting at the corner of Bloor Street West and Yonge Street as Gabriel Nikov, 18.

​Nikov was a student at Central Toronto Academy on Shaw Street. The school's principal Iwona Kurman sent out a note Thursday to staff and students about Nikov's death. 

"This has been a sombre day for our school community as we mourn the sudden and tragic loss of this young life," the note said. "I know that you will join with all of us in expressing our deepest condolences to grieving family and friends."

On Friday, Nikov, who was called "Gabe" by his friends, was remembered as a friendly, outgoing young man who volunteered to serve meals to the homeless at a downtown community centre.

"He was really outgoing and friendly. A lot of great energy," Brian Harris, director of the St. Felix Centre on Augusta Avenue, told CBC. "He was always just eager to help."

Nikov and his mother often volunteered to serve meals at the centre around the holidays, Harris said. Nikov had a lifelong relationship with the centre, having started there in the daycare before joining the after-school programs.

"We were all just shocked and horrified," Harris said. "It's always terrible, but when it's something close to home it makes it that much more real for all of us here, and we're still just reeling from it." 

Toronto rapper Peter Bones invited Nikov to appear in one of his music videos, and said the two had plans to collaborate on music projects.

"He was very, very talented," Bones said, adding that Nikov didn't have an ego.

"He was chill and laid-back and his life was just cut short."

Searching for suspects

​Police are still looking for three suspects in the shooting, which happened just after 8 p.m. Wednesday at the busy downtown intersection. There were reports that five shots were fired.

A woman at the scene who knew Nikov told CBC News she saw her friend get into an altercation before the gunfire erupted. She said she administered CPR before paramedics arrived.

"There was no fight, just an argument and that was it," she told CBC News on Wednesday.

The shooting took place near a Tim Hortons, Starbucks and Jack Astor's, all of which were likely busy at the time. There's also a TTC entrance nearby.

The three suspects are described as:

  • Male, white, wearing a white jacket
  • Male, white, wearing a baby blue jacket
  • Male, white, wearing a black jacket

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