Elmi's body was discovered in the early hours Thursday on Meadowbank Road, near Highway 427 and Burnhamthorpe Road. He had multiple gunshot wounds to his torso and was not wearing any shirt or shoes. Police say he had no connection to the neighbourhood where he was found.
According to investigators, Elmi lived in the area of Yonge and College streets and was last seen there alive and fully clothed around 3 a.m., roughly an hour before his body was discovered.
Abdifatah Warsame met and befriended Elmi four years ago. The two bonded right away, Warsame said.
"He had it going on. He had everything. He had the intelligence, he had the big smile, he was very outspoken, he was into education," he said, adding that Elmi worked in the College and Yonge Streets area to put himself through school.
Warsame said his friend was "upbeat" and known as a "very positive thinker" who valued his education.
"I hang out with him, I ate with him, we went to the mosque and I prayed with him. He was your typical good, young person."
A source in Toronto's Somali community told CBC News that Elmi was related to Ahmed Hassan, a Somali-Canadian who died during last month's shooting at the Eaton Centre, and that both men were connected to the same address near Alexandra Park. The source also said Elmi was a hard-working person who hadn't been in any trouble with the law.
A separate police source told CBC News detectives have no reason to believe Elmi has any gang connections.
Dark-coloured vehicle seen leaving area
On Thursday, Det. Sgt. Pauline Gray told reporters that witnesses described hearing shots just after 4 a.m. and then saw a dark-coloured vehicle leaving the area.
Elmi was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police have not released any names or descriptions of suspects.
The shooting was the 26th homicide in Toronto this year. Sixteen of the victims died after being shot.
Warsame said he wants Elmi's family to have some closure.
"This is senseless, [an] act of evil the way he died," he said.
Police are asking anyone who knows anything about Elmi's death to come forward.