‘He was just getting ready to blossom’: Family members speak about Toronto’s latest homicide victim

WATCH: A community is shaken following the shooting death of a man in the Martin Grove and John Garland Blvd area. Erica Vella speaks with the aunt of the victim who says the family is devastated.

Family members of the city’s latest homicide victim are grieving after a daylight shooting in Etobicoke.

Officers responded to the call at 1:16 p.m. in the John Garland and Humber College boulevards area and they said the victim was unresponsive when crews arrived on the scene.

The victim was pronounced dead on scene.


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“There may have been an altercation,” said Toronto police Det. Steve Henkel.

“Our understanding is that the shooting took place here. And as to exactly whether it was inside the unit or outside, that’s currently being investigated.”

Family has identified the victim as Blain Grindley and describe him as a young, hard-working man.

“He’s not on the streets doing this and doing that, He’s a young, ambitious Black person,” said Dahlia Foster, Grindley’s aunt.

“Because he got shot, I know because of the stereotype people are going to think he was involved in something. No, he was a young ambitious, God-fearing person.”

Foster said many family and friends know Grindley for his kind nature.

“He has aunts and his grandmother is here. He has touched each and every one in his own unique way because that’s the kind of person he was,” she said.

“He was just getting ready to blossom… I still can’t believe I’m never going to see him again.

Blain Gerrardo Grindley is seen in an undated photo.

Blain Gerrardo Grindley is seen in an undated photo.

Handout / Toronto Police Service


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“The pain has inflicted on our family right now… All I can say is I hope and pray that you understand the damage you have done.”

Pastor Marcus Martinez called the violence an “epidemic” and urged for more to be done.

“The tears of the mothers are falling too much on the streets of Toronto,” he said.

“This epidemic of our young people finding themselves in this situation we have to attack…we need to really rally around our black young men and help mentor them. They need jobs and they need work.”

As of Wednesday night, suspect information wasn’t released by officers. The investigation is ongoing and police made an appeal to anyone with information to come forward.

Grindley’s death marks Toronto’s 22nd homicide of the year.

— With files from Oriena Vuong

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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