Toronto

International student killed at Sherbourne station remembered as 'hard-working, ambitious' at vigil

Friends, family members and colleagues of 21-year-old international student Kartik Vasudev gathered at Nathan Phillips Square on Sunday, remembering his life — and demanding answers around the circumstances of his death. 

Kartik Vasudev, 21, died Thursday after being found with multiple gunshot wounds

Kartik Vasudev came to Canada from India in January. Friends and family say he was hard-working, ambitious, and for years had dreamed of his life in Toronto. On Thursday, he was killed after being shot multiple times at Sherbourne Subway Station. (Toronto Police Service)

Friends, family members and colleagues of 21-year-old international student Kartik Vasudev gathered at Nathan Phillips Square on Sunday, remembering his life — and demanding answers around the circumstances of his death. 

"He was an innocent child," said Ritik Sharma, president of the Seneca Student Federation. 

Vasudev, a first-semester marketing management student at Seneca College, was heading to his part-time job on Thursday around 5 p.m., when he was gunned down at Sherbourne subway station. 

Officers arrived to find him with multiple gunshot wounds. He was rushed to hospital where he later died. 

Police have made no arrests and have released no information on suspects so far. They're asking any witnesses to come forward.

The fatal shooting happened at Sherbourne Subway Station around 5 p.m. on Thursday. (CBC)

Originally from India, Vasudev arrived in Canada on Jan. 5 after years of planning his career and a new life here.

Sharma described him as a bright student with a big future. 

"I hope each and everyone remembers him as a hard-working, ambitious, and inspiring international student," he said. 

An international student himself, Sharma said he — along with the entire school community — is shaken.

A sign reading '#I AM KARTIK.' Family and friends of the victim say Kartik Vasudev is representative of the hundreds of thousands of international students who arrive in Canada each year, and that Thursday's shooting shouldn't have happened to any of them. (CBC)

"Students, they feel so sad right now — they are in deep sorrow," he said.

"It should not happen to anyone of us." 

'We've lost our young child'

The victim's father, Jitesh Vasudev, speaking from India on Friday evening, said the family is "heartbroken" during a phone interview with CBC News.

"What can you feel? We've lost our young child over there," he said. "My son was polite, humble, a sweet child. Why was my son the target?"

Friends and family of Vasudev at a vigil held in his honour on Sunday. (CBC)

Sharma, who also spoke with the victim's father, reiterated the family's desire for answers. 

"They were literally in tears, they were not even able to talk properly," Sharma said. 

"What they're asking for is at least the reason why he was shot." 

Parliament will 'seek justice' 

Melissa Lantsman, member of parliament for Thornhill, Ont., spoke at the event, ensuring friends and family that the federal government "knows about this" and will help "seek justice" for Vasudev.

"You have our support and we will make sure that the House of Commons in Canada knows about Kartik, knows about his legacy and knows that international students are welcome here and it's a safe environment for them," she said. 

Seneca College says it is offering 24/7 crisis support for any student who needs it. 

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