TORONTO — Friends and family are grieving the sudden loss of a passionate community advocate and leader in Toronto’s Jane and Finch community who was gunned down a week ago in the North York neighbourhood.
Kwadwo ‘Sam’ Asamoah-Boakye, 30, grew up in the northwest Toronto neighbourhood and was very involved in making a positive difference within the community.
“It’s very challenging,” Mohamed Ahmed, a friend and colleague of Asamoah-Boakye’s for the past 10 years and co-executive director of Success Beyond Limits, said.
“We’re having a hard time with Sam’s loss. We’re having a hard time with the families we’re working with.”
Ahmed said Asamoah-Boakye ran programs to help young people finish high school and pursue education.
“Sam was hilarious. He was an amazing person to be around. He was able, I feel, to connect with the ambition we have within ourselves and bring that to life.”
On top of being a father to a two-year-old, he also cared for another child. He was a graduate of African studies and political science at the University of Toronto.
Toronto Police Services (TPS) said Asamoah-Boakye was shot multiple times and died of his injuries. The shooting happened on Sept. 7 shortly before 9 p.m. near Driftwood Ave. and Grandravine Dr in North York.
Two cousins tell CTV News Toronto that Asamoah-Boakye was visting family the night he was gunned down and that the incident occured as he was leaving.
Police say no arrests have been made.
Investigators have been speaking with witnesses and reviewing video footage. They’re not ruling out the possibility that Asamoah- Boakye could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, they say.
“It’s a shock. That’s the only thing I can see because he was a unifying dude,” Ameen Binwalee said. Binwalee has known Asamoah-Boakye for about 10 years and is the CEO of Out of the Box, a social enterprise and construction organization — an entity co-founded by Asamoah-Boakye.
Binwalee says bringing people together in and around Toronto was one of Asamoah-Boakye’s passions.
“Everybody knew him. From the community workers to the business people to people in the community and he got along with everybody,” he said.
A GoFundMe page set up by relatives is asking for prayers and donations, saying “the magnitude of this tragedy is inconceivable”.
Binwalee says coming together now and sharing Asamoah-Boakye’s light is a way to honour his life.
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