‘Our lives are forever changed’: Karolina Huebner-Makurat’s husband speaks at vigil for murdered Leslieville woman

Taking a deep breath and looking out over the silent crowd, Adrian Makurat spoke about how “our lives were changed forever” with the senseless loss of his wife, Karolina Huebner-Makurat.

“We are getting by,” Makurat said, about himself and his daughters Claudia, 7, and Nella, 4.

“The girls are in a good place because I’m looking at all the aunts and uncles that they didn’t know they had,” she told the crowd in a short speech she didn’t intend to make.

About 300 people gathered Monday night at Jimmie Simpson Park for a vigil in honor of Huebner-Makurat, 44, who was killed July 7 by a stray bullet during a daytime shooting in Leslieville.

The theme of the evening was yellow, from the ribbons lovingly tied to the wire fence in the Huebner-Makurat Memorial Park, to the bouquet of sunflowers sitting at the foot of the stage, to the golden light cast on friends, family, and neighbors. dealing with a tragic loss.

Huebner-Makurat was shot as she passed Queen and Carlaw streets, not far from where the vigil was held Monday night. Investigators allege a fight broke out between three suspects and she was caught in the crossfire.

“I don’t have as much global reach as Caroline did,” Makurat said of his wife’s many trips, from Istanbul to Thailand, and over the next year. “Lots of milestones for my girls to meet because our lives were forever changed on July 7th.”

Area resident Ronni Dowling, 74, recalled seeing Huebner-Makurat on neighborhood walks. “She should be here, raising her two daughters and loving her husband.

“I don’t know what gives people the right to take another person’s life. Whether it was a ricocheting bullet or whatever, it shouldn’t have happened,” Dowling said. “They have to take control and get the guns off the street. I don’t know how they can do that.”

Marie Aragona, one of Huebner-Makurat’s closest friends, said she will always remember the radiant smile of her friend whom people called Caroline.

“Caroline had a way of putting you at ease and making you feel seen,” Aragona said. “Her smile of hers was easy, she was genuine and very frequent.”

District 14 Councilmember Paula Fletcher invited attendees to honor Huebner-Makurat with a moment of silence.

“If you’re with your family, your friends, or even someone you don’t know, you could hold their hand for a minute and remember Caroline.” The crowd held hands and many closed their eyes as birds sang and children played nearby.

Mayor Olivia Chow also attended, telling the crowd: “Some things in life don’t make sense, we don’t understand them, we can’t process them,” she said. “We grieve, it saddens us, but we can respond with hope and love.”

Previously pushing for solutions to gun violence before being sworn in as mayor, Chow said she supports SafeTO, the city’s data-driven plan that includes policing, but also social support and neighborhood investments.

Amanda Dorenberg, a colleague and longtime friend of Huebner-Makurat’s husband, said she never expected something like this to happen in the community where she grew up. “This neighborhood is one of the safest in the city,” she said.

“Walking down the street going to lunch one day, it could have happened to anyone.”

Damian Hudson, 32, has been arrested and charged with second degree murder. Police are still looking for two other suspects.

The Star has learned that Hudson was out on bail and was barred from owning weapons, uncovering court records showing his extensive criminal history dating back more than a decade, including assault, robbery and drug offences.


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