NEWS

Eaton Centre survivor recounts shooting at trial

11/04/2014 07:09 EST | Updated 01/04/2015 05:59 EST
One of the five men shot at by Christopher Husbands took the stand as the trial of the Eaton Centre shooter continued Tuesday in a Toronto courtroom. 

Robert Cada, 25, told the court he had just gotten out of jail because of a clerical error on June 2, 2012, the morning of the shooting. He said he met up with his friends Nixon Nirmalendran and Ahmed Hassan before they headed to the Eaton Centre.

It was the last time they were together. Hassan would die at the mall, while Nirmalendran was shot multiple times and died several days later.

Husbands has admitted to shooting them but said it was not premeditated.

The Crown attorney showed still images from surveillance video of Cada and the four men going down the escalator into the food court that day. Each time the Crown asked him whether he recognized anyone. He couldn't pick out himself or his friends.

Cada did tell the court he was the first of his friends to enter the food court. 

"I took a couple of steps off the escalator … heard 'what up?'" he said. "Not sure who said it … Saw someone looking fishy and ran and I never looked back."

Husband's lawyer, Dirk Derstine, suggested his client overheard Nirmalendran say to Cada "shoot him" but instead, Cada ran.

Cada got upset, swore, and denied the suggestion. 

The court also heard from Roxanne Charles — Husbands' former girlfriend — who said he and Nirmalendran were once good friends, until they had a falling out. 

Husbands wanted to repair their relationship, Charles said, until February 2012 when he was stabbed by a group of men. Husbands told her one of those men was Nirmalendran. 

Husbands wrote Charles several letters while he was awaiting trial. In one he said he wanted to make peace with his attackers, not kill them.

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