ATPUTHARAJAH firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-01-16 published
Toronto's first 2005 slaying
Teen abducted from work, knifed
By Jordan HEATH- RAWLINGS, Staff Reporter
Thanushan JEYAKUMARAN was just preparing to enter the next phase of his young life.
Twenty-four hours later he was dead, Toronto's first homicide victim of 2005.
The 18-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil said goodbye to his Friends at a London, Ontario, bus stop on Thursday night, as he headed back to Toronto to prepare for work on Friday morning.
He had been working long hours and extra shifts at the New Spiceland Super Market on Sheppard Ave. E. near Markham Rd. in Scarborough for the past two years, trying to raise the money required to bring his parents to Canada. He sent home about 75 per cent of his earnings, and he almost had enough. Once that was done, he wanted to move to London, to live with the Friends he had made before he left high school after Grade 10 to work full-time.
Before he climbed out of their car in London on Thursday night, he told them to "get the apartment" where they had talked about moving in together. "I'll be there with you," he said.
According to police, JEYAKUMARAN was abducted from his workplace at about 8: 50 Friday night by at least three assailants, attacked outside -- where police say he suffered sharp-force injuries to his body -- and was then left to bleed to death in a nearby park.
He was found about 20 minutes later, in McLevin Park near Tapscott Rd. and McLevin Ave. He died from his injuries at Sunnybrook hospital. Two men were also found in the same park and arrested on Friday night.
The two men arrested -- Rajeevan ATPUTHARAJAH, 20, of Markham and Franklin NESARAJAH, 21, of Scarborough -- were to be charged with first-degree murder yesterday, said Det. Sgt. Reg PITTS of the homicide squad.
Police are still searching for "three or four more people within the division," said PITTS, and they expect that "at least one or two of those people will be charged."
Police recovered a knife -- from the sidewalk about 50 metres away from the Spiceland market -- which will undergo forensic examination, and they were searching yesterday for a dark-coloured 1989 Toyota Camry, which may have been involved in the crime.
JEYAKUMARAN arrived in Canada in 2000 and lived with his uncle for his first few years in the country. But he moved out about a year ago, to a basement apartment near the Sri Lankan and West Indian grocery market where he often worked a double shift, his uncle said yesterday.
"He was a hard worker, a very hard worker," a tearful Sinnathurai KATHIRGAMANATHAN, 37, said yesterday at 42 Division police station. "My nephew could not have been involved in anything... He was always working. He only had one day off a week."
PITTS said yesterday that "you could say some of them knew each other," referring to JEYAKUMARAN and his multiple attackers. There were no indications of gang-related activity, he said.
"That's a bit of a mystery at this point," PITTS said of a possible motive for the crime, though he added that the events leading to the killing "may have been started two weeks ago over a minor dispute."
JEYAKUMARAN's Friends couldn't remember any disputes between their friend and other Sri Lankans, nor did they recognize the names of the two men arrested in connection with his murder. JEYAKUMARAN was a peacemaker, they said.
"We know him very well," said Lojan SRIANANDAN, 19. "He doesn't just go into problems, but he does stand up. He stands up for us."
Whenever a dispute would arise between the close-knit group of teens and other Sri Lankans -- an occurrence that can stem from nothing more than "hanging around with people... not from your territory" -- SRIANANDAN said that JEYAKUMARAN would be the first to step in and calm things down.
"It's so unnecessary," SRIANANDAN said of territorial disputes among young Tamils. "It just cost us a life... he was our brother. He was the peacekeeper and now he's gone."
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