Police are investigating the death of 17-year-old Shadi Taleb in Mississauga Monday night as a homicide after he was rushed to hospital and died after an altercation at his home.
Constable Adam Minnion said he's been told the incident, which happened at 4469 Full Moon Circle, was not random. It was likely targeted.
"It's a theory we're exploring," he said.
Shadi, a grade 12 student at John Cabot Catholic Secondary School, was a typical, soft-spoken teenager, said Bruce Campbell, a representative from the high school.
"He's described by staff, his teachers and admin as a respectful young man," Mr. Campbell added.
The school, which is currently in the middle of exam week, lowered its flag to half-staff on Tuesday afternoon - just after police confirmed Shadi's identity. On Wednesday they'll have prayers over the PA. They'll also bring in counsellors.
Mr. Campbell expects the school will arrange a memorial service with Shadi's parents later this week.
According to a co-worker of Shadi's father, his colleague was too shaken up to say much about what had happened.
Jadou Bu-Mansour said Mahmoud Taleb is a taxi driver who lived with his two sons and his wife, who is listed on the mortage as Omaya Taleb.
"We've been driving together for almost 10 years," said Mr. Bu-Mansour. "I was shocked."
Police, who received the call at 10:36 p.m., have also reported that a 45-year-old woman was injured in the altercation, receiving a minor, non-life threatening head wound. But they have not released her identity or any information regarding her relationship to Shadi. Nonetheless, Const. Minnion described her as an "essential witness."
Fifteen-year-old Amir Robinson told The Globe and Mail that he remembers the first time he met Shadi in 2006. He was standing with a group of friends in Valleys Senior Public School and at first Amir was scared.
"I was younger so I was kind of scared of them. I was a new guy and didn't know anyone and he was so nice to me," Mr. Robinson said. "I didn't expect it."
The last time Amir saw Shadi was a month ago. They don't attend the same high school, but Shadi would talk to him and ask him how it was going.
"He was always there for me and didn't let anyone bully me," Amir said. "He was a good guy. To others it might have seemed he wasn't, but he had a good heart."
Early Tuesday morning, before police had confirmed Shadi's identity, a memorial for the teenager went up on Facebook.
"His grade eight grad," reads a message written by Tania Angelina Assi below a picture of a tall young boy with spiky black hair. "So close to grade twelve grad. Rest In Peace."
Many of Shadi's friends replaced their profile pictures with images of the boy.
Police say the suspect or suspects left the scene driving a light-coloured, four-door vehicle. They say as many as six people may have been involved, and evidence suggests this was not a home invasion - though they haven't ruled it out.
An autopsy will be conducted on Wednesday.
With files from Stephanie Chambers and Arti Patel