He had just turned 17 last Friday and been given a BMW to drive. That followed a recent trip to Europe to visit family.
Yousif was in his last year of high school and holding down a part-time job at Canadian Tire, saving up money for the future.
"Zaid was on the road to success," his friend Munir Andreyos said in an interview with CBC News on Tuesday.
But days after his birthday, Yousif, a student at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School, was dead. The teenager was one of two high-school students shot dead in northwest Toronto in a shocking double homicide on Monday.
Toronto police said the shooting that killed Yousif and a student from James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic High School was targeted.
But Yousif's mother, Jina Samouie, told CBC News on Tuesday that police had told her Yousif had gone to watch a fight and attempted to flee when guns came out.
"They said in the newspaper … they killed him, like, not by accident, but this is not right," she said.
Andreyos said that Yousif wasn't someone who went looking for a fight.
"He wasn't a bully, he was nothing like that," he said.
'He was just a really good kid'
Andreyos said he couldn't believe the news that his friend, whom he met on a Toronto soccer field as a child, was gone.
"He was just really a good kid … other than that, he's in heaven right now, so like, he's watching over his family," he said. “So there's nothing we can do anymore. The only thing we can do is just praise God and thank God that we wake up to this life now."
Samouie told CBC News that Yousif was an obedient and loving son.
"My son is a very nice boy, I swear," she said, through tears, in an interview on Tuesday.
Samouie said that her son prayed every day, he had good friends and he loved his family.
If she called him, he answered. If she texted him, he answered.
"No one loved his mom like my son when he loved me," she said.Suggest a correction