Victim in fatal drive-by shooting in Toronto's west end Wednesday ID'd as Abdirizak Hersi
'Rizak is in critical condition... Come to Sunnybrook,' older brother was told before learning Hersi had died
Prayers poured in on social media for a victim in Wednesday's fatal drive-by shooting in the Jane and Sheppard area, identified by police Thursday as 20-year-old Abdirizak Hersi.
In a Facebook post Thursday, Hersi's older brother, Abdi, wrote that he had stayed late at work on Wednesday and received a life-changing phone call on his way home.
"Rizak is in critical condition... Come to Sunnybrook," said the person on the other end before abruptly hanging up.
Abdi said he made his way to the hospital tearful and in shock. He was only mid-way there when he was told, "Go home, he's dead; coroner won't let you see him."
Police were called to the scene of Laura Road and Sheppard Avenue West just before 5 p.m. after reports of people in two cars shooting at each other while driving. Officers arrived to find a car with bullet holes with two men injured inside and later confirmed the shots in fact came from just one car, which was seen fleeing eastbound on Sheppard Avenue West toward Jane Street.
Hersi, the driver of the bullet-ridden car, and another man that police believe to be his cousin, were both rushed to hospital, where Hersi was pronounced dead. The second man, also 20, suffered non-life-threatening injuries from a gunshot wound and has since been released.
Police still searching for suspects
"How do I explain what it feels like to realize you have to bury your younger brother...?" Abdi wrote in the Facebook post. "There will forever be a hole in my heart that can't be filled."
"I wish I had the chance to bid you farewell instead of hoping these words could somehow reach you. May justice be served to whoever took you from us. Ameen."
Abdi was too grief-stricken to speak to CBC News Thursday saying, "I don't have the words to articulate to you even if I wanted to."
Few details are available on suspects. Police said only that two black males were in the car that fled.
Sgt. Rob Duthie told CBC News Thursday it's too early to determine the circumstances of the shooting and whether the two were targeted.
A post-mortem examination was scheduled for Thursday. Hersi was Toronto's 37th homicide of 2016.