A vigil was held at a park in Riverdale Thursday night for a 29-year-old man killed in a shooting in the city’s Greektown neighbourhood earlier this week.
Hundreds gathered at Withrow Park to remember Shamar Powell-Flowers. His mother, Charmaine, was in attendance and paid tribute to her son, describing him as a loving and hardworking mom who wanted to make her life better.
“He said, ‘Mom, I’m the one that’s gonna buy you that house.’ He always aimed for the stars,” an emotional Flowers told CTV News Toronto.
“My life has changed forever. My life will never ever, ever be the same.”
The 29-year-old was struck by a projectile when a firearm was discharged near Danforth and Carlaw avenues early Sunday morning. Toronto police said there was an altercation involving several people prior to the gunfire.
Shamar was seriously injured and was taken to hospital, where he later died.
At the vigil, wearing a white t-shirt with a picture of her son and his dog Rocco, Charmaine remembered Shamar as a selfless person who would take his nieces and nephews to soccer – a sport the 29-year-old loved.
“He just cares about everybody. He cares about the community,” she said.
Charmaine shared that Shamar, who she fondly called the “baby of the family,” had plans to start a construction company.
“He wanted to give back. He wanted to train young youths to show them that you can accomplish anything. It’s not about where you’re from. It’s where you’re going,” she said.
Looking at the crowd that had gathered for the vigil, Charmaine had tears in her eyes, saying she was overwhelmed to see that so many people loved her son.
“These are the people that were in Shamar’s life,” she said. “There’s no words.”
Holding candles, attendees later walked to the scene of the shooting. Police have not arrested the suspect responsible for the shooting.
Charmaine urged the person responsible for her son’s death to surrender.
“I don’t hate you. I don’t know why you did this to my son. But I forgive you,” she said. “I just want to know this turn yourself.”
Charmaine plans to create a charity as a way to honour her son. “I just want to make sure that my son’s legacy lives on,” she said.
“I’m just so proud of him. He’s still here, and I think he’s still watching over me.”
– with files from CTV Toronto’s Allison Hurst