Friends shocked after York University student shot in alleged home invasion
Kim Magi and Dylan C. Robertson
Ibrahim Abukar, 22, was shot dead on Corkstone Glade after allegedly breaking into a home with two other men. Police said a deadly struggle ensued after the intruders were confronted by the homeowner.
“I’m just flabbergasted right now; I’m shocked,” Mohamud Karim, who met Abukar almost 10 years ago in high school, said. “Anybody who meets this guy would say he’s just a kind, welcoming person who’s outgoing.”
During his off times from studying at York’s Schulich School of Business, friends said Abukar coached youth through the Somali Youth Basketball League, where he spent most of his Saturdays.
“He would give advice to kids to go to post-secondary school. A real model for the Somali community,” said Karim. “He was warm.”
The Somali Student Association at York University released a statement Saturday, referring to Abukar as “a beautiful man who’s touched so many in our world.”
In response to comments on Facebook, a spokesperson for the association said Abukar was at a meeting Thursday night discussing racial profiling and how to rehabilitate prisoners back into society when they’re released.
Mohamed Ali grew up in the same neighbourhood as Abukar.
“Flamboyant, charismatic, down-to-earth, understanding. These are the words that come to mind,” he said.
Karim remembers Abukar giving him advice on his wedding day.
“He was like just be patient; life is a test. He was actually giving me advice,” Karim said. “He’s way younger than me and I was really humbled. I’m like, this guy is really remarkable.”
Friends said Abukar was entrepreneurial, and was developing a mobile app.
Mohamed Hassan also knew Abukar since childhood. He learned of his friend’s death while heading to work Friday.
“The guy had a bright future,” said Hassan, adding Abukar was supposed to be best man at a wedding next month.
“Everything good that people want for their kids, he was the perfect example,” said Hassan.
All three friends said he wasn’t the type for criminal behaviour.
“He always avoided that crowd,” Hassan said. “He always told the young guys it’s not the way.”
Peel homicide detectives are investigating Abukar’s death and said Saturday night there were no updates in the case. Mike Vrga, the owner of the home where the shooting took place, received minor injuries in the incident. Police are looking for any witnesses that may be able to provide details on the two suspects who fled the scene.
With files from Sarah Taguiam