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Chance Meeting, Chance Passing: Toronto Police Intrigued by Randomness of the Murder of Indian Student Kartik Vasudev

Chance Meeting, Chance Passing: Toronto Police Intrigued by Randomness of the Murder of Indian Student Kartik Vasudev

  • Meanwhile, the body of the 21-year-old arrived in India to be cremated by his distraught family.

The Toronto police arrested Richard Jonathan Edwin, 39, and charged him with the April 7 murder of Kartik Vasudev, a 21-year-old Indian student, and the unrelated killing of Elijah Eleazar Mahepath, who was shot on April 9. Both victims were shot and killed within a span of 72 hours.

A CBC report quoting the police said Edwin, who senselessly shot Vasudev was arrested on April 10 evening and had a cache of loaded guns within reach at the time of his arrest. Investigators reportedly believe that Edwin was a “complete stranger” to both men, who also didn’t know each other.

Vasudev was shot multiple times outside a Toronto subway station and two nights later, Mahepath, 35, was shot while running errands downtown. Police, according to Globe and Mail, do not yet know much about the suspect or his motivations. He has no criminal record.

“We have nothing to suggest he knew either one of them,” said Detective Sargent Terry Browne of Toronto Police Service according to news reports. He characterized the killings could be completely random — “a chance meeting, a chance passing.”

Significantly, the police said that they are not sure that the perpetrator and the victims even saw each other directly. “It is unclear if the suspect ever even had face-to-face sightlines with the victims, Stg. Browne was quoted as saying in news reports.

That’s probably why the police though acknowledging that both the victims are “visible minorities,” are not yet ready to categorize them as hate crimes.

“I wouldn’t want to speculate on whether someone was targeted based on their background or ethnicity … Certainly from what we saw, any interaction with the shooter and the victims was very, very quick and brief,” Browne was quoted as saying.

The police are also intrigued by the fact that Edwin had no prior record and the gun he used in his killing was bought legally. Yet, going by the arsenal found at his home the police believe he was planning further attacks.

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Meanwhile, the body of Kartik Vasudev, arrived in Ghaziabad near New Delhi to be cremated by his distraught family.

Kartik Vasudev’s father is demanding that the police investigate the motives behind the murders. “There is a motive behind it, what was he thinking before the killings? We need to find out these questions,” a news report quoted Jitesh Vasudev, as saying.

In a heartrending Facebook post, Jitesh Vasudev wrote: “When I got the most devastating news of my life – ‘Your son was shot’ – I broke down! How could this be? My Kartik, my 21-year-old boy? Who would do this? WHY would they do this? I had no answers! When I broke the news to my wife, she wasn’t ready to accept it. All she kept saying was, ‘Aap jhooth bol rahe ho. Nothing has happened to my son!’ It took her a day to accept the truth, we cried together. But after the initial shock wore off, I was filled with anger. I wanted to look the person in the eye and ask why?!

(Top photo, courtesy Facebook)

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