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22nd of July 2018

International



‘Heartbroken mom of slain York U student seeks justice

The heartache of a sobbing mother — whose son was gunned down in the prime of his life — was palpable as she pleaded Wednesday for answers and help catching his elusive killer in Malvern.

“I’m a heartbroken mother,” Ranjini Suthesan said in a parking lot at Lester B. Pearson Collegiate, steps away from where the youngest of her two kids was ambushed five weeks ago.

Speaking in her native Tamil with a Toronto Police officer translating, the distraught mom described her 21-year-old boy as an “amazing” son who she was “always proud of.”

“I don’t understand why this happened,” Ranjini cried out, tears streaming down her face.

Venojan Suthesan, who had no criminal record, left home shortly before midnight on May 27 and walked about 10 minutes to the high school near Tapscott and Neilson Rds.

Venojan (Veno) Suthesan, 21, was fatally shot late Sunday, May 27 outside Lester B. Pearson high school. (Twitter photo)

Police believe he made arrangements to meet someone, but exactly who remains a mystery.

However, it’s what happened next that has left all who knew Venojan — including the 30 or so family and friends on hand Wednesday to support the slain man’s parents and older sister — and the lead investigator on the case struggling to understand.

Homicide Det. Andy Singh said Venojan arrived at the darkened rear of the school where a vehicle had been waiting about 40 minutes.

He was met by gunman who opened fire, then fled in the vehicle with a second person behind the wheel, leaving him to die.

Sumira Suthesan, left, speaks during a press conference on Wednesday, seeking new leads in the murder of her brother, 21-year-old Venojan Suthesan. (Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun)

“Whether Venojan knew what he was walking into is very difficult to say,” Singh said. “At this point I’m going to say he was blitzed, he was surprised, he wasn’t prepared for what was going to occur.”

He said the victim was in business school at York University, planned to obtain his masters and at one point worked two jobs.

“Everybody speaks only very highly of this young man,” Singh said. “He was doing all the right things.”

“That’s why this act is so senseless,” he added.

Venojan is one of the city’s 52 murder victims so far in 2018 — 25 of whom, like him, have been gunned down.

In 2005, infamously known as the year of the gun, there were a record high 52 gun killings by year’s end. If the violent year the city has endured so far continues unabated, the city may well see more than 50 gun murders again.

Sumira Suthesan described her sibling as “ambitious” and “kind” with a smile that was “contagious.”

“My brother was always pushing me to do better, dream bigger and accomplish more. And he set the same high standards for himself,” she said. “Each day he would aim to be a better version of himself.”

Sumira said her family wants “justice” for their loved one and they need “closure.”

“If anyone has any information, regardless of how small you believe it is, please come forward,” she pleaded.

Councillor Neethan Shan was also on hand and echoed the family’s message.

“Venojan was a very hard-working young man,” he said, adding he was “on the way to a very bright future.”

“It’s unfortunate that his life was taken away by a senseless act of violence,” Shan said. “We need the people who are responsible for this cruel act of violence to be brought to justice.”

The homicide detective said “it’s been very difficult establishing a motive as to why this occurred” but he remains convinced there are people who have information that could provide much-needed answers.

“This is where the community needs to come together,” Singh said. “There is somebody out there who knows who Venojan was on his way to meet that fateful night.”

Anyone with information regarding this killing is urged to call the Homicide Unit at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-880-222-TIPS (8477).

cdoucette@postmedia.com

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