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Funeral Held For Eaton Centre Shooting Victim

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EATON CENTRE SHOOTING AHMED HASSAN
Dewitt Lee writes a message on a poster outside the Toronto Eaton Centre before a vigil in Toronto on Sunday June 3, 2012. The investigation into a deadly shooting rampage that set off a mass panic at the Toronto Eaton Centre focused Sunday on the shooter behind the brazen attack, as police and local authorities reassured the public that Toronto remains a safe city. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu | CP


Family and friends gathered at a Toronto mosque on Tuesday to pay their final respects to Ahmed Hassan, the man who died after being shot in the Eaton Centre last Saturday.

The 25-year-old is believed to have ties to the same gang as his alleged killer, Christopher Husbands, 23, of Toronto.

Husbands, Hassan and a 23-year-old man who was wounded were all part of the same gang, police say, although they haven't provided any more specifics.

Despite the gang affiliations, police don't believe the shooting was gang-motivated; rather, "personal aspects" were at play, according to Det. Sgt. Brian Borg.

The imam who delivered the eulogy, Said Rageah, said the funeral is one of more than 30 that he has presided over in the past two years for young Somali men who've died violently in Toronto and Fort McMurray, Alta.

He said many of the problems begin at home.

"The parents do know, but they are hopeless; they cannot do anything," he said outside the mosque. "A lot of parents, they cannot communicate with their kids and the kids cannot communicate with their parents. And the parents do not understand the system, how things work, they don't understand the gangsters' mind, all that."

Rageah also said education is a problem. "All of that needs to be addressed," he said. "It's not a problem that can addressed in one day or one minute."

Hassan's father flew in from Edmonton, but did not speak to the media.

Hassan's cousin Khadija Abdi, speaking after the service in the Rexdale and Martin Grove area, accused police and the media of painting a picture that said, "it is okay Ahmed is killed, but the Canadian society is safe, the Eaton Centre is safe, the Canadians [are safe], he was a criminal, he deserved to die."

Husbands, 23, is charged with one count of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder.

His father would not talk to CBC News on camera, only saying that Husbands was a good kid who fell in with the wrong crowd.

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