NEWS

Toronto's Sierra Leone community mourns murder victim

10/19/2012 06:48 EDT | Updated 12/19/2012 05:12 EST
A funeral was held Friday for Henry Pratt.

He and his four brothers escaped the civil was in Sierra Leone a decade ago, hoping for a better life.

But Pratt died on Oct. 11.

The 24-year-old was shot to death inside an apartment on San Romano Way in the city's north end.

"It's a brutal senseless and violent crime and we cannot continue to see the community go through this," said Osmand Bangura, the uncle who helped Pratt and his brothers flee West Africa.

"When he came to Canada he was excited and he wanted to live his life the best way," said Bangura.

His uncle says members of the Sierra Leone community helped raise the young men. The death means the community has lost a son.

"Really, really hard! Henry left Sierra Leone during the war, violence. To come here and face this kind of death is really troublesome," said Barlu Dumbuya.

Police say it's not clear whether Pratt's death was gang related or a random act of violence.

"We are still trying to figure that out," said Bangura. "Who would want to hurt Henry? Hopefully one day we will find the truth."

Police say they're following a few good leads and they've also located closed circuit images near San Romano Way that could provide more clues.

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