More than 100 people gathered at a Mississauga mosque on Wednesday afternoon to mourn Shakeel Ashraf after the father of two was shot in a stampede in a GTA shooting that killed a Toronto police officer earlier this week. and three others were injured.
Many from the local Muslim community came to pay respects to the man Milton, who has been described as a skilled mechanic, a giving member of the community, and a devoted family man.
Inside the Jame Mosque Islamic Propagation Center in Ontario, near Toronto Pearson Airport, people began to arrive at the building for the service at 1:30 p.m., before Ashraf’s body was carried to the middle of the room by the congregation and attendees. Prayers were held in one voice between , At the end of the short service, his body was carried in a black van, where those present gathered around the coffin.
Ashraf’s funeral took place at Meadowvale Cemetery soon after the service.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, speaking to dozens of onlookers at the mosque, said she was devastated by Ashraf’s tragic death.
“A father of children has been taken away from us and we are all mourning together,” Crombie said. “We are here to mourn this incredible man. Such a short, unexpectedly taken life that should not have been taken from us.”
Two others were shot at at MK Auto Repairs – Ashraf’s autobody shop – on Monday. The condition of one of these victims remains critical in the ICU.
The gunman, who identified the star by sources as 40-year-old Sean Petrie, had previously killed a Toronto police cons. Andrew Hong before engaging in a three-city stampede that ended in Hamilton, where he himself was killed by police.
Ashraf, 39, was of Pakistani origin and 25 years ago, living with his family, was opening two MK auto repair locations in Milton, where more than 15 employees work. He had recently bought a new autobody shop on Steeles Avenue and printed out new business cards.
Before the funeral service, friend Faizal Niaz described Ashraf as a “very good car mechanic”, which is why he is famous in the community.
“He Is Our community,” Niyaz said, adding that his friend was humble and “the biggest philanthropist”.
Niaz said the question on the minds of many in the community was why the suspect was not caught by police and taken to an auto shop in Milton after killing an officer in Mississauga.
“Our friend died. Who (will) be responsible,” he told reporters.
Another friend, Muhammad Umar, said that Ashraf’s death “is a great loss to us, to the community that has lost a friend and a great human being.”
He said the shooter’s motive was unclear and it was difficult to understand why someone would do “such a devastating thing”.
Members of the Toronto Police were also present at the service to offer condolences.
Toronto Police Sgt. Mansoor Ahmed said the tragedy was beyond jurisdiction, and the police wanted to support the local Muslim and Pakistani communities. “We understand the shock of losing a loved one,” he said.
Ahmed said that he did not know Ashraf personally but played against him in a cricket match.
Ashraf left behind a loving wife, who was a housewife, and two little girls.
His family often attended and supported his cricket matches – he was a member of the MSA Qalandars cricket team of the Event Ontario Softball Cricket League.
Naeem Khyani, who manages the cricket organization, said Ashraf played in the team for six years and was a good player. “He was kind, very cheerful and had a good sense of humour,” he said.
Many cricket team players will also get their cars repaired in their auto repair business.
According to Arslan Hanif, a relative of Ashraf, the shooter was a former employee of MK Auto Repairs, where the second shooting took place on Monday, but police are yet to release details about the gunman. Hanif said that the shooter had come to the autobody shop when Ashraf went out to have lunch for his employees.
cast. Hong was shot dead while taking a lunch break at Tim Hortons in Mississauga, in what was called an unprovoked “ambush” marking the start of a shooting rampage in three cities before the suspect was gunned down by police at Hamilton Cemetery. saying.
Police and the Ontario Special Investigation Unit are investigating the two shootings and subsequent incidents.
Also on Wednesday, the SIU identified four “subject officers” in Petrie’s Hamilton death.
The designation means that the independent investigative body believes it is the officers – two each from the Halton and Hamilton police – who may have caused Petrie’s death.