A man who clung to life for nine days after being fatally shot in the Eaton Centre had a criminal past that included a conviction for drug trafficking and once faced a charge of second-degree murder that was later dropped.
Nixon Nirmalendran, 22, was fatally wounded in the shooting that occurred in a food court in the north end of Toronto’s Eaton Centre on June 2.
He succumbed to his injuries on Monday evening, nine days after he was shot multiple times.
Police have alleged that Nirmalendran was a member of the same street gang as the accused shooter, Christopher Husbands, and the other man who died in the food court attack, Ahmed Hassan, 24.
But investigators have said they do not believe the shooting was gang motivated.
Husbands was initially charged with one count of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder.
Toronto police Const. Tony Vella told CBC News that Husbands will return to court on Wednesday to face an upgraded charge in the wake of Nirmalendran’s death.
Victim once accused of involvement in jail homicide
In March of 2011, Nirmalendran pleaded guilty in a Toronto court to trafficking cocaine and possession for the purpose of trafficking cocaine.
He had also once been accused of involvement in a killing at Toronto’s Don Jail.
Kevon Phillip, 24, was found suffering from obvious signs of trauma in a prisoner's area at the jail on Jan. 2, 2010. He was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died.
Police charged two men in Phillip’s death in March 2010, and in April of that year, also charged Nirmalendran with second-degree murder. A fourth man was charged with second-degree murder in the same death in April 2010.
The Globe and Mail later reported that two additional men were charged with second-degree murder in May 2010.
The second-degree murder against Nirmalendran was later reduced to manslaughter and eventually dropped.
Friend shot dead
Nirmalendran was also involved in an attempted robbery in Toronto’s Riverdale Park on Oct. 31, 2007, which was interrupted by police.
When police moved in to arrest Nirmalendran and Alwy Al Nadhir that night, the latter ended up in a confrontation with an officer and was fatally shot.
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit later found that police had not “committed any criminal offence” in connection with the shooting death of the 18-year-old Al Nadhir.
Nirmalendran would later plead guilty to robbery and use of an imitation firearm to commit an indictable offence.
At the time of his arrest, Nirmalendran was a student at Toronto’s Central Tech High School and was just a credit short of graduating.
Nirmalendran later got a tattoo of Al Nadhir as a tribute to his friend, which was visible on his left arm when he was wheeled out to an ambulance outside the Eaton Centre after he was shot.
His lawyer told CBC News that Nirmalendran’s funeral is scheduled for this Thursday. The details have not yet been finalized.