Victim's father pleading for answers as accused killer appears in court
Richard Jonathan Edwin, 39, facing 2 charges of 1st-degree murder
On the morning that a man charged in connection with two separate "unprovoked" killings of a 35-year-old man and a 21-year-old international student in Toronto first appeared in court, one of the victim's fathers says he is still reeling, and desperate for answers about the person police believe is responsible.
"There is a motive behind it, what was he thinking before the killings? We need to find out these questions," said Jitesh Vasudev, the father of 21-year-old Kartik Vasudev, who was fatally shot at Sherbourne subway station last Thursday.
"This is the answer we need to have."
Richard Jonathan Edwin, 39, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Vasudev and Elijah Eleazar Mahepath, who was shot last Saturday near the intersection of Dundas Street East and George Street, east of Jarvis Street.
Edwin briefly appeared in court by videoconference Wednesday morning. Court heard he has yet to retain a lawyer and will appear again Thursday. He spoke only to confirm his name.
Police say Edwin was arrested Sunday evening and had a cache of loaded guns within reach at the time of his arrest. Investigators have said they believe Edwin was a "complete stranger" to both men, who also didn't know each other.
"Any death is tragic, but these men were completely innocent, and their murders were absolutely random acts of violence," Police Chief James Ramer told reporters Tuesday.
At a press conference Wednesday morning, Toronto Mayor John Tory lauded police for arresting Edwin, and said there is no easy way to curb gun violence.
"I think we need a combination of things, stricter bail, stricter penalties for guns, offences, we need to have stricter gun laws, we need more investment in kids and families to make sure some of the root causes are far more addressed. It's not a simple matter or has a simple solution," Tory said.
Outside a memorial for Vasudev that was held at a funeral home in Etobicoke Wednesday, Nilay Goyal, a professor of finance at Seneca College, remembered the 21-year-old as quiet, shy, and one of the best students in his class.
"He was a brilliant one," Goyal said.
"It is just too sad to see that we will never know what came out of that brilliant mind and how he will affect the world."
With files from Thomas Daigle