NEWS
09/18/2016 17:51 EDT | Updated 09/19/2017 01:12 EDT

Friends and family bid farewell to Liberty Village shooting victim at funeral Sunday

At a balloon release held in his honour on Sunday, Kiesingar Gunn's young son asked if he could hold onto his balloon a little longer.

"Of course you can," his grandmother responded. "And we can tie it on the casket."

Growing up, the 26-year-old Gunn always yearned to have a father.

On Sunday his own children, along with their mother, Naomi, gathered with loved ones in Scarborough to bid farewell to the father of four, who was fatally shot last Sunday outside a nightclub in Liberty Village.

Gunn had been trying to break up a fight when two rounds of gunfire broke out in the Liberty Street and Mowat Avenue area around 4 a.m., leaving him with a gunshot wound to the head from which he wouldn't recover. 

Police don't believe Gunn was the intended target, and have yet to make any arrests in his death. 

'I watched him grow up'

"As a child he always wished he had a father," one of Gunn's cousins, Tyrelle Clarke, told CBC News outside his funeral Sunday.

Clarke, who grew up with Gunn, recalled spending summers together and sharing the same bed at camp.

"I kind of watched him grow up into a man," he said. "One of the most proud things I can say about him is that when he grew up he became so much of a better father than he ever had and he worked really hard to provide a life for his children and his family that he wasn't so lucky to have."

That motivation, to take care of his family, was evident even on the night that Gunn was killed. He and his fiancée were just about to go home for the night when Gunn went to go check on his godson, who was involved in the altercation outside the club. Moments later, he was hit by gunfire.

'A part of me died with him'

On Sunday, Gunn was laid to rest in a paintable "graffiti-style" casket — his mother's idea, Clarke said. Anyone who knew Gunn was invited to sign it with their last message to him.

"He was really big into hip hop," Clarke explained. "He loved hip hop music and his mom thought it would be a good tribute to him."

Gunn's fiancée has shared her grief in a series of social media posts. The most recent is a home video recorded at their daughter, Mila's, first birthday at Woodbine Beach; in the video Gunn is holding up a birthday cake with a single candle. 

"A part of me has died with him," his fiancée wrote the day after Gunn's death. "I will be strong for our babies because I know that's what you would want me to do."

Meanwhile, as police continue to search for suspects, Clarke has a message for the shooter: "Turn yourself in."

"They took someone very special to a lot of people," he said.