Rob Ford has promised the mother of 20-year-old Kwado (Kojo) Mensah, a young shooting victim who once played on his football team, that the killer of her son will be brought to justice.
Juliana Mensah said on Monday evening Mayor Rob Ford came to her home in Etobicoke on Sunday to offer her some words of comfort, and to pray with her.
She said the mayor assured her that the person who shot and killed Kwado last Thursday night at the Grace Hartman Housing Co-op in Scarborough's Malvern neighbourhood would be found.
Mr. Ford coached Kwado on the Don Bosco Eagles football team, and Ms. Kwado said he was like a father figure to her son.
He would tell Kwado "football was not the end of the world so he should focus on his studies."
On Monday evening, the dimly lit living room of the family home was quiet except for somber words shared with a hug or a handshake between family and friends.
At least 20 gathered on a rainy Monday evening to remember Kwado. Mismatched chairs lined the perimeter of the living room, and each one was full. In the centre of the room, a picture of Kwado in a suit jacket in front of a brick wall stood propped up on a chair.
Outside the apartment with her brother, Francis Mensah, Ms. Mensah said she would like to say a few things about her son.
"He used to tell me, 'Mummy, I love you,' " she said. "He would say, 'Do you know I love you? Do you know I love you.' And I would say yes."
She said he was a good boy. He would clean the washroom and pick up groceries. She never worried about him.
He came home every night.
She pulled out a picture of Kwado with his Don Bosco Eagles football team.
"He was a happy-go-lucky kid and very well-behaved and disciplined on and off the field," Mr. Ford told the Toronto Sun this week. "It just rips me apart and it's going to rip me apart to see him in the casket."
Kwado's father is in Ghana. His brother Leslie is 25 and Ms. Mensah says they were very close.
Ms. Mensah and her brother said they never saw any signs that Kwado might be in trouble.
"Maybe he was pretending, but I am sure he wasn't," Mr. Mensah said.
They say they do not believe there is any connection to the shooting of a 32-year-old man the same night in Eastern Toronto.
"Whatever you say, he will never come back," Ms. Mensah said, looking down at the photo of her son, No. 38 on the football field. "I just lost him and I will never see him again. He broke my heart."