As It Happens

'I will never forget that day,' says family friend of Mississauga teen killed in shooting

Jonathan Davis, 17, was an innocent bystander who helped take care of his father and had a passion for video games, says Selma Alincy.

Jonathan Davis, 17, was an innocent bystander who loved video games and helped take care of father

Family friend Selma Alincy provided this photo of Jonathan Davis. (Supplied by Selma Alincy)


Selma Alincy says she will never forget the day Jonathan Davis was killed. 

The 17-year-old boy — a Grade 12 student who loved video games and electronics — was killed in a shooting in Mississauga, Ont., on Saturday, that wounded five others.

Police say he was an innocent bystander and that the intended targets of the shooting were preparing to film a music video in the area. 

Alincy is a close friend of family who rushed scene of the crime, after receiving a frantic phone call from Davis's mother. She described what she saw in an interview with As It Happens host Carol Off. Here is part of their conversation. 

At what point did you realize something horrible had happened?

I received a call from my friend. She was panicking. She said, "Jonathan, Jonathan, help, someone help."

I said, "What's wrong?"

She just kept on repeating, "Jonathan."

So I said, "OK, I'm coming." 

And so you ran out, and what did you see?

When I got there, I saw that the police blocked up the front of the complex. And then I saw the body on the ground.

Then I see Jonathan's father coming towards me, and he was like, "Selma, what happened?"

So I was going to go under the [police] tape, but the police stopped me. And I said, "Well, this is his father, and I'm a family friend. Might I be able to go over there?"

And they said no, that the paramedics were working on him. The police officer said, "I'll let you know what's going on." 

By the time the police officer walked back to where Jonathan was laying, they took a blanket and covered him. The police officer returned back to me and said, "Unfortunately, he died."

Selma Alincy, a longtime friend of the Davis family, told CBC about what she saw and heard in the minutes after 17-year-old Jonathan Davis was shot. (CBC)

Were you conveying all this to Jonathan's father?

He's half blind. He's not able to see that well. So he was right beside me, and I told him, I said, "Unfortunately, he's passed."

The mother had ran back to the body. ... I'm not sure where she came from because everything just happened so fast.

I will never forget this image in my head. She took the cover off of his body and lifted it up and saw her son lying there.

They brought me around the tape and told me, "OK, they're going to bring her over to the other side." So me and the father walked ... over to the other side ... and she just fell in my hands. She was numb. She didn't know what to do. She didn't know what to think. She didn't understand. She was beside herself.

It was a horrific day. I will never forget that day.

How could you comfort them? What could you possibly do to help at that point?

All I can do is comfort her. All I can do is listen to her. I don't know how it feels to lose a child. I've never lost a child.

Someone that was innocent. A bystander. He was just going back home to change his shoes. That's all he was going to do. 

He had nothing to do with this film being shot, where the shooting began.

No, he had nothing to do with it.

[His mom] started telling me [about] when she saw him on the floor and she picked him up and held his head and she was trying to apply pressure by where the gunshot wound was, that was to the side of his head.

She will never forget that. And that is devastating. Seeing your child's lifeless body on the ground, and you feel helpless. You're supposed to be the one to care for your child, and you can't. There's nothing you can do.

By Sunday night a small makeshift memorial had been set up in the lobby of the building where Davis lived. (Shannon Martin/CBC)

[There are] other kids, in the family as well, right? How are they coping?

He has a sister that's 14. She's quiet right now. She's shocked. She doesn't know what to say. She doesn't know what to do. 

He also has another sister who is three, so she's not really comprehending what's going on.

And he has an older brother and that's in his early 20s. He's there supporting his mother and everybody else.

One of the things he did for his dad was that his dad was losing his sight, [so] he was more or less his father's eyes.

Yes, he was. So he helped his father out a lot. He was his father's right hand. His father keeps on saying, like, "I've lost my right hand. He did everything for me." 

He loved his father. He was there for his father.

Tell us a bit more about the boy. He was a Grade 12 student, right?

I know he is very bright in math, a very smart individual. Respectable, quiet. He wasn't one to fuss or to argue or anything. He was just a quiet young man who loved playing video games. He was a gamer. He loved electronics. He can assemble anything like that. He loved putting things together.

How can you help them get through this point?

I'm just there for her to talk to, for her to lean on, for her to cry with. She didn't have insurance for Jonathan because this is not something you really think about. But I started a Go Fund Me [called Jonathan Davis Funeral Arrangement Funds].

Jonathan is not the first boy to be killed in this way, the first the family to lose the child. Politicians, because they're campaigning right now, they're all talking about what they would do, how they would change things. What do you want to hear from those politicians about this loss of life of these young people in Canada and in Toronto?

The politicians may think one way. But you have to understand what the community needs. So give the community a voice. They are in the situation, so they're the ones that can better advise what they need.

Written by Sheena Goodyear with files from CBC News. Interview produced by Kevin Robertson. Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.