NEWS

Streetcar shooting victim's funeral this morning in Toronto

08/01/2013 08:24 EDT | Updated 10/01/2013 05:12 EDT
Family and friends will say their final goodbyes at a funeral this morning for Sammy Yatim, who was shot and killed by police while the 18-year-old was armed with a knife aboard a streetcar.

Hundreds of mourners are expected at the funeral, which begins at 11 a.m. ET in suburban Scarborough, near the family home.

Amateur videos viewed more than a million times show Yatim being shot at nine times in rapid succession just after midnight ET on Saturday while he was alone on a stopped streetcar. Just before police arrived, Yatim reportedly stood up and brandished a knife on the 505 streetcar on Dundas Street West near Trinity Bellwoods Park.

Many people have responded with anger at the Toronto police force and Const. James Forcillo, named as the officer who fired the shots, but a friend of Yatim's family said the family doesn't support that anger.

Joseph Nazar, who was among the mourners and media at a funeral home visitation Wednesday night, said the justice system must be allowed to take its course.

"We're not a part of anybody who's scolding the police," he said. "We respect the police, we respect the force."

Some who attended the visitation, including Chandra Seecharran, didn't know Yatim.

"It's not right at all … He's just a little boy lying in that casket," she said.

'There is full co-operation'

People at the visitation told CBC reporter Steven Bull that they still want to know why police shot Yatim, but they'll need to wait until Ontario's police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, completes its investigation.

Ontario ombudsman André Marin told CBC News on Wednesday that police rarely co-operate fully with the SIU — a comment that didn't go over well with Toronto police Chief Bill Blair.

"All 22 witness officers have given their statements," he said. "This is full co-operation with the SIU investigation and unfortunately, Mr. Marin's uninformed comments aren't very helpful to the situation."

Blair won't attend Yatim's funeral, but the family has thanked him for reaching out to them personally.

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