Kesean Williams, a Grade 4 student, was shot Wednesday night and died hours later in hospital of his injuries. No arrests have been made yet.
Kesean, his 15-year-old brother and his mother moved into the Brampton house last week. His brother and mother are "obviously devastated," said Peel Regional Police Acting Supt. George Koekkoek.
Kesean spent his childhood in Hamilton up until September 2012, when his family moved to Brampton.
He attended Grade 4 at J. Edgar Davey Elementary School and played in the Central City Soccer League. According to a Facebook post on his memorial page, Kesean's team won the championship in 2011.
The youngster also spent many of his after-school hours playing in nearby Beasley Park, where he shot hoops with friends and learned how to skateboard.
“He was pretty fearless and quite the little athlete ... a really active, energetic kid,” said 35-year-old Pete Hanson, a member of the Hamilton Skateboard Assembly, a group that refurbishes old boards to give to children and teaches them how to ride.
“The average kid hounds me to death to get them stuff, and when I do get them a board it's not good enough,” he said, but Kesean "stood out."
“I got him a board and I never heard him complain about anything," Hanson said.
"Same with his skateboarding. He didn't complain about anything. He just skated."
“He was like a little big man.”
Shareen Foldowan is a resident of Meridian Cooperative Homes at 185 Ferguson Ave. North in Hamilton, the building where Kesean grew up. "I'm in shock," she told CBC Hamilton.
"Poor little guy, I remember holding him when he was born."
Foldowan called Kesean and his older brother "Great, great kids." She said Kesean's brother often helped her in her garden behind the complex.
Another resident, who asked not to be named, said her daughter went to high school with Tanya Garvey, Kesean's mother.
"First off, I just didn't believe it," the former neighbour said, describing her initial reaction to news of the tragedy. "Then I was like, 'Why did she ever move away?'"
She recalled Kesean and his older brother were very polite. "[They] always said 'Yes, ma'am.'
"Adorable kids," she sighed. "It's a shame."
The woman said she didn't know why the family had moved away, adding that Garvey was "a little more private."
“She's a lovely girl. She must be in pieces.”
Johanna Crites, a property manager for the building, posted a note about Kesean's death on a ground-floor message board.
“Everybody's shocked and very saddened by the news,” she told CBC Hamilton.
“Even though [Tanya] no longer lives at this property, this is a community. Co-ops are a little bit different from townhouse complexes or apartment buildings, normal rentals.
“You're a little bit more involved.”
"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," said Peel Police's Koekkoek.
Police don't know who the target may have been, but they are also looking at the previous tenants of the Brampton 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 seized a taxi at the site of the shooting in Brampton and three people are being interviewed as witnesses.
Police are canvassing the neighbourhood, interviewing hundreds of residents, and have 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.
At the time of his death, the boy was a student at Sir Winston Churchill Public School in Brampton. 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.Suggest a correction