Kesean Williams, a Grade 4 student, was shot Wednesday night and died hours later of his injuries in hospital. No arrests have been made yet, but police believe the house in Brampton, Ont., northwest of Toronto, was targeted.
"It's appalling," said Peel Regional Police Acting Supt. George Koekkoek.
"It's totally unfathomable to think that, as I say, a young child sitting in his home, in the comfort of his own home, that something as tragic as this could happen."
Kesean, his 15-year-old brother and his mother moved in to that house last week. His brother and mother are "obviously devastated," said Koekkoek.
They had been living in the area for about five months, having moved there from Hamilton. Police don't know who the target may have been, but they are also looking at the previous tenants of that house, Koekkoek said.
"Our information to date and what we've learned thus far leads us to believe that it was the house that was targeted," he said.
"That said, it's early on in the investigation and we're trying to confirm that, so we're open to other things as well, but that's what we believe."
Police are canvassing the neighbourhood, interviewing hundreds of people, and already have some preliminary descriptions of people who were seen running from the area.
Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans urged those people to assist with the investigation in any way they can.
"We rely on our community to join in these efforts and provide any information possible that's going to lead to identification of the person or persons responsible for this horrible crime," she said.
The boy was a student at Sir Winston Churchill Public School. Members of the Peel District School Board's critical incident response team have been sent to the school to provide support to students and staff.
A letter has also been sent home to parents with tips on how to help their children deal with the tragedy.
Police seized a cab at the site of the shooting and three people are being interviewed as witnesses, police said.
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