Toronto

Vigil honours Ernest 'Kosi' Modekwe, 1 of 2 killed in downtown Toronto shooting

Dozens of people gathered in an Etobicoke park during Canada Day fireworks on Sunday night to remember the life of one of two men killed in a weekend shooting in downtown Toronto.

'He had so much light inside of him,' his sister said after the impromptu memorial

Ernest 'Kosi' Modekwe, known to those in Toronto's music scene as Koba Prime, was killed in a brazen shooting in the city's entertainment district on Saturday night. (Jermane Prime)

Dozens gathered in an Etobicoke park on Sunday night to remember the life of one of two men killed in a high-profile weekend shooting in downtown Toronto.

Ernest "Kosi" Modekwe, a 28-year-old known as Koba Prime by those in Toronto's music scene, died in hospital on Saturday night after a shooting on Queen Street West, near Peter Street. Jahvante Smart, the 21-year-old rapper known as Smoke Dawg, was also killed, while a woman injured amid the chaos is recovering in hospital.

Chinasa Modekwe, Kosi's younger sister, told the crowd at a candlelight vigil that she'd had dinner with him just two hours before the shooting.

"I just can't believe I'm never going to see him again come through the door," she said. 

"This is a huge loss for me and my family and his girlfriend."

Chinasa Modekwe says of her brother: 'I couldn't have asked for a better big brother.' (CBC)

Chinasa remembered her brother as a strong role model who was well liked in the community.

"He always had my back. He was funny, outgoing, caring, loving. He always had a big smile on his face. Everyone knew him on Lakeshore," she said. "He was a huge athlete. He loved basketball. He loved making people laugh. He just loved life."

A prayer was said for Kosi at the vigil. 

In an interview after the vigil, Modekwe said her big brother was bright, outgoing, caring, compassionate and giving. 

"He was the most loving guy. He always had the biggest smile on his face. And he was full of life. He had the biggest heart. He always wanted to give and didn't expect anything in return," she said.

"He had so much light inside of him." 
Family members and friends of Ernest 'Kosi' Modekwe created a makeshift memorial for him near the site of a candlelight vigil on Sunday night. Modekwe died in hospital following a shooting on Queen Street West near Peter Street. (CBC)

An online fundraiser set up in Kosi's honour on GoFundMe says he graduated with honours from the University of Toronto and worked hard to provide for his mother, a single mom, and his two siblings.

Chinasa Modekwe knew that generosity well.

"When I went off to do my master's, he really took care of me. He bought me my MacBook. He would always ask me what I need and buy me clothes. He helped my mom out a lot with the bills."

She added he had "so much good to give to this world."

His death has left her family in turmoil, she said. "We are trying our best to stay strong," she said.

'He didn't deserve this at all'

At the vigil, Jimmy Prime described Kosi as a good friend, adding Kosi had a lot of friends. 

"He helped everyone around him," Prime said.

"He was like a big friendly giant. He really didn't deserve this. He didn't deserve this at all." 
Ernest 'Kosi' Modekwe was an 'innocent bystander' in the shooting on Saturday night, according to a gofundme page in his memory. (GoFundMe)

Kosi was a brand manager who helped with merchandise sales at Prime, a hip-hop music collective in Toronto. According to his LinkedIn profile, he was also a sales specialist with SGNT Canadian Group of Industries Inc., a Mississauga company. 

Police are looking for suspects in the shooting but have not said how many. They are also appealing for anyone "who heard or saw anything out of the ordinary" or who has photos, videos and security camera video of the shooting to come forward.

According to the GoFundMe page, Modekwe was an "innocent bystander" in the shooting.

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