People all over the world are shaken, hurt and demanding justice this week following the shooting death of 21-year-old Kartik Vasudev, an international student at Seneca College who on Thursday was named Toronto’s 19th homicide of 2022.
Vasudev, who was in his first semester of global business management at Seneca, had only just moved to Toronto from India in January.
It had been the young man’s dream to attend a school in Canada, according to his father — a dream fulfilled through years of hard work and studying, but cut short after just four months in the country by a heinous act of violence.
Police say that Vasudev was shot multiple times at the Glen Road entrance of Toronto’s Sherbourne TTC Subway Station around 5 p.m. on Thurdsay, April 7.
Suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, he was attended to by an off-duty paramedic but eventually succumbed to his injuries. Vasudev was pronounced dead at a local hospital Thursday evening.
Details surrounding the homicide case have been sparse.
Friends say Vasudev was travelling to his part-time job at a Mexican restaurant when he was shot, but it is not clear if the attack was targeted or random. Some online are claiming that the student was the victim of an attempted robbery.
Police have released a single suspect description for a Black male with a medium build, standing five-foot-six to five-foot-seven inches tall, last seen on Glen Road carrying a handgun.
Detectives continue to ask local businesses and drivers for security or dashcam footage, and are still appealing to anyone who might have been in the area at the time of the shooting to contact them with information.
And the pressure to find something that could help bring Kartik’s family justice is mounting.
Vigils were held over the weekend for Vasudev both here in Toronto and in the student’s hometown of Ghaziabad, India, where more than 1,000 people reportedly rallied to demand justice for his family.
“We want justice, footage of the incident, Kartik’s body to reach his parents in Ghaziabad and regular communication by Toronto Police with Vasudev family and action against the culprit,” wrote an attendee of the protest in India.
“A mother, a father and a brother are waiting for justice,” wrote another. “#JusticeForKartikVasudev.”
Images from both vigils can be found all over social media marked with hashtags including #JusticeforKartik, #JusticeForKartikVasudev and #IStandWithKartik.
Advocates are calling upon all levels of government in Canada to bring Kartik’s killer to justice and have been demanding that his body is returned to India.
Ajay Bisaria, High Commissioner of India to Canada, confirmed Monday that the young man’s post-mortem has been completed and that his “mortal remains are expected to be repatriated to India this week.”
A GoFundMe campaign set up to support the Vasudev family has now raised more than $44,000 of its $50,000 goal.
“We are shocked and distressed at the unfortunate killing of Indian student Kartik Vasudev in a shooting incident in Toronto yesterday. We are in touch with the family and will provide all possible assistance in early repatriation of mortal remains,” read a statement published by the Consulate General of India on Friday.
“The Seneca community is saddened to hear of the tragic death of Kartik Vasudev, a first-semester Marketing Management student,” wrote Seneca similarly.
“Our thoughts are with Mr. Vasudev’s family, friends and classmates. Counselling support is being made available to students and employees.”