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A woman places flowers during a vigil for Adu Boakye, a man who was fatally shot while waiting for the bus last week near a community centre in Northwest Toronto, Feb. 24, 2024.Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

A man who was gunned down in what police have called an indiscriminate attack in northwest Toronto was remembered Saturday as a quiet and respectful man who was working hard to support his family in Ghana.

Community members gathered at Jane Street and Driftwood Avenue for an afternoon vigil to honour Adu Boakye, 40, one of two people shot near that intersection in less than 24 hours last week. The other victim, a 16-year-old who was waiting for the bus to go to a volleyball game, was critically injured but survived.

Some who attended the vigil brought flowers, others wore shirts with his photo that read “In memory of Adu Boakye.”

Richardson Adorsu, one of Boakye’s friends, described him as a family man who loved children and could always be counted on for good advice.

Boakye was “a good man, an angel on Earth,” Adorsu said. “There’s so many discussions that I discussed with him, some advice that me, myself, I cannot advise myself.”

Boakye had arrived in Canada in November, and though they only spent a few months together, Adorsu said they were “really, really good” months.

Orwell Coffie said he and Boakye met because they worked together, and eventually started going to and from work together. Boakye’s English wasn’t strong, and Coffie said he would often translate conversations for him. “I was the first person he made friends with,” he said.

He said Boakye was someone who never got angry. “Always, he was smiling and he was always quiet,” he said.

Boakye, a father of four, would often video call his wife during their breaks and was focused on sending money back home, he said.

Emmanuel Duodu, president of the Ghanaian-Canadian Association of Ontario, said he spoke to Boakye’s mother earlier Saturday and found her “completely in shock and traumatized.”

Aside from the pain of losing a loved one, Boakye’s family has also been left without its breadwinner, raising concerns about who will provide them with support, he said.

An online fundraiser to help Boakye’s family attend his funeral in Canada had raised more than $25,000 by Saturday afternoon. Coffie said the government should also step in to support Boakye’s grieving family.

Police have said the attacks were carried out randomly by the same suspect or suspects. They said the victims didn’t know each other or the suspect, nor were they involved in gang activity or anything similar.

The first attack took place around 6 p.m. on Feb. 16 and left the teen victim with potentially “life-altering” injuries, police said.

Boakye was shot the following afternoon. Investigators have said he was shot three times – twice in the stomach – and later died in hospital.

No arrests have been made, but police have released a photo of a suspect and said they found a stolen black Acura linked to the attacks in Hamilton.

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