‘My son is not going to come back’: Toronto shooting victim identified as Indian student Kartik Vasudev, 21

Kartik Vasudev hugged his parents goodbye at the airport in Delhi, India, in January, ready to embark on a flight to Toronto — he had studied hard for the chance to go to school in Canada.

“We were just crying with each other, hugging, my wife and my younger son,” remembered Jitesh Vasudev, Kartik’s father, speaking to the Star Friday. “But we were saying, ‘OK, he will come back soon.’”

“My son is not going to come back,” he said.

Kartik Vasudev, a 21-year-old international student, was shot and killed Thursday evening at the entrance to the Sherbourne TTC subway station while on his way to the Mexican restaurant where he worked.

According to the police account, officers found him outside the station’s Glen Road entrance with multiple gunshot wounds around 5 pm and rushed him to hospital, where he died. The homicide squad is now handling the investigation.

“We have lost everything,” Jitesh Vasudev told the Star, speaking from the family’s home in Delhi. “He was just trying to fulfill his dreams of him, it was his dream of him to come to Canada.”

In a statement on Twitter, the Consulate General of India in Toronto confirmed it was in touch with the family, saying: “We are shocked & 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.”

According to his father, Kartik had spent the last three years studying hard to be accepted into school in Toronto. When he got word last fall that he had been accepted to Seneca College to study global business management, he was elated.

He was particularly drawn to the safety and opportunities in Canada, his father said, adding: “We were talking with him two or three times a day, and he was so, so happy.”

Kartik had made friends and had just gotten a part-time job at the Mexican restaurant just two weeks ago, Jitesh Vasudev said.

The last time he and his wife spoke to their son was Thursday afternoon, when Kartik was eating his lunch before he went to work. They heard Friday morning, local time, that Kartik’s manager had called his roommate because he had not shown up for his shift from him.

Friends called police to report Kartik missing, and were able to identify his bag, which officers had found at the scene.

Jitesh Vasudev then received the call from police that his son had died in hospital.

“He was very polite, very sensitive, very loyal child. Everybody, family, friends, everybody loves him very much,” he said. “I don’t know what happened, but I’m trying to find out with the local police, please tell me what happened to my son.”

“He was just going to his job, for his daily routine,” he said.

A cousin in Canada is currently identifying his body and they are hoping to bring back his remains soon, Jitesh Vasudev said.


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